File photo – Mahela Jayawardene hit a 21-ball 40 to lead Central Districts’ chase against Wellington © Getty Images
Central Districts‘ strong bowling performance followed up with a relatively hiccup-free chase meant they beat Wellington by six wickets at the Basin Reserve. George Worker finished with 3 for 26 – and was one of Wellington’s five wicket-taking bowlers – as they bowled Wellington out for 133 before achieving the target with 21 balls to spare.
After choosing to bat, Wellington lost both openers by the fourth over with the team’s score at 22 for 2. Stephen Murdoch (32) and Tom Blundell (20) added 35 runs for the third wicket, before a string of wickets between the ninth and 12th over had them slip from 57 for 2 to 76 for 6. Grant Elliott top scored with 39 off 32 balls and kept the innings afloat, but with his dismissal – the team’s eighth wicket, on 124 – Wellington folded quickly. Ben Wheeler, who was selected in New Zealand’s T20 squad against Bangladesh on the day, and Seth Rance finished with two wickets each.
Opener Worker performed with the bat too; he hit a run-a-ball 32 with partner Mahela Jayawardene (21-ball 40), to give Central Districts a flying start. They did lose quick wickets in the 10th and 12th overs, but with the team’s score at 89 for 3, Tom Bruce, also selected for the T20 series against Bangladesh, hit a brisk 24 to all but take them home before Dane Cleaver (19*) and Josh Clarkson (5*) saw them through with 3.3 overs to spare.
Canterbury captain Ellis also hit 23 off 18 balls; he was the team’s second-highest scorer with only opener Chad Bowes scoring more, with a 39-ball 54. Neil Wagner (2-20) and Sam Wells (2-21) kept it tight for Otago, striking regularly in an innings in which the last eight overs fetched only 57 runs.
Otago’s response began with a wicket off the second ball, as Ed Nuttall (2-44) dismissed Anaru Kitchen for a duck. Jamieson then struck in consecutive overs to reduce Otago to 34 for 3 inside the fourth over. The middle order attempted a rescue, but were made to work hard for their runs by Ellis (1-11) and Astle (2-16), neither of whom could be taken for more than four per over. Christi Viljeon triggered a late surge with an unbeaten 34 off 22 balls, but this wasn’t enough for Otago.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo