Wizards go level top

Wizards go level top

The Canterbury Wizards are now level on points with the Northern Knights at the top of the Ford Trophy table after beating the Central Stags by 64 runs at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. 

Rain shortened the match to 30 overs per side, but behind 73 from Rob Nicol the Wizards finished with a very healthy total of 216 for eight. The Stags in response were unable to form a considerable partnership and were dismissed for 152 after 26.3 overs. 

The Wizards got off to a shaky start having been asked to bat first, with the recently prolific opening pair of George Worker (6) and Tom Latham (17)falling early on.

It took the experienced duo of Nicol and Peter Fulton (34) to settle things down for the visitors, adding 54 for the fourth wicket. Fulton got the smallest of edges to depart in the 16th over, but Nicol continued to plunder the Stags bowling attack. 

His stay was finally brought to an end when he was run-out, but he had ensured the Wizards a challenging total. Andrew Ellis capped things off with quick-fire 41 from 25 balls, leaving the Stags with a mountain to climb. 

Cameos from Ben Smith (31) and Dane Cleaver (25) gave the home side a little hope at the start, but the Stags lost wickets in clumps and the required-run-rate soon rocketed upwards. 

The lower-order showed some resistance, with Tarun Nethula (21*) and Martin Kain (25) putting on 40 for the eighth wicket. Unfortunately by that stage it was a lost cause, with the Wizards securing victory in the 27th over. 

It was a joint effort with the ball from the Wizards, but Andrew Ellis led the attack with three for 21 from 4.3 overs. 

With Thanks To

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