Stags through to Su­per Smash fi­nals


The fi­nal spot in the Twenty20 Su­per Smash fi­nals be­longs to the Cen­tral Stags.

With the North­ern Knights get­ting home late to de­feat the Can­ter­bury Kings in Hamil­ton, Cen­tral’s 29-run winover the Welling­ton Fire­birds in Welling­ton se­cured their fi­nals spot.

The Stags join the Auckland Aces and North­ern Knights in the fi­nals. The Knights have home ad­van­tage.

With two games played si­mul­ta­ne­ously 500 kilo­me­tres apart, it had looked for much of the af­ter­noon like Can­ter­bury’s Kings would se­cure the last fi­nals spot. But two English imports and a stun­ning Dean Brown­lie dis­play turned things.

Chas­ing 195 for vic­tory, Welling­ton’s top scorer was Samit Pa­tel, but his scor­ing rate put paid to any chance of a win.

Need­ing nearly 10 an over, Pa­tel’s 38 came from 39 balls. He was hook­ing, cut­ting and pulling hard, but never showed the kind of in­ven­tion that was re­quired to find the gaps.

Tom Blun­dell did well early in the chase, scor­ing 30 from 19 balls, and Devon Con­way scored 32 off 23 late on, but Welling­ton ended well short of the re­quired tar­get at 165-5 at the close.

Jesse Ry­der and Ge­orge Worker Cen­tral Stags 194-6 (J Ry­der 52 off 35, T Bruce 46 off 20, G Worker 38 off 25; J Pa­tel 2-23 off 4, O New­ton 2-19 off 2) de­feated the Welling­ton Fire­birds 165-5 (S Pa­tel 38 off 39, D Con­way 32 off 23, T Blun­dell 30 off 19; B Wheeler 2-30 off 4, B Tick­ner 2-34 off 4) by 29 runs. Can­ter­bury Kings 190-5 (C Bowes 38 off 19, M Pol­lard 32 off 24, L Carter 35 off 26, C Fletcher 32 off 15; I Sodhi 2-29 off 4) lost to the North­ern Knights 191-6 (D Brown­lie 86 off 50; C Mc­Conchie 2-26 off 3, K Jamieson 2-48 off 4) by four wick­ets. did the dam­age early for Cen­tral, hit­ting 52 and 38 re­spec­tively, be­fore Tom Bruce blasted a 20-ball 46 as the Stags moved to 194-6 at stumps.

The North­ern Knights claimed top spot and a home fi­nal when they beat the Can­ter­bury Kings.

Bat­ting first, the vis­i­tors made 190-5 and the hosts at Hamil­ton’s Sed­don Park chased that down with four wick­ets and seven balls to spare af­ter look­ing un­likely for three-quar­ters of their re­ply.

Dean Brown­lie led the the chase af­ter high-scor­ing opener Tim Seifert fell lbw first ball to Ed Nut­tall. The Knights skip­per made a pun­ish­ing 86 off 50 balls but was caught on the long-off bound­ary at­tempt­ing his fifth six in six de­liv­er­ies as he turned the match.

English im­port Chris Jordan (22 off 10 balls) and Nick Kelly (27 off 13) com­pleted the job.

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