You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Late flurry sets up Wellington T20 win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/01/2017

Hamish Marshall of the Firebirds © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Hamish Marshall of the Firebirds Wellington have shrugged off a stubborn late fightback from Central Districts to secure a 14-run win in the domestic Twenty20 final at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth.

Chasing Wellington's 172-7, top qualifiers Central went down swinging in reaching 158-8, spearheaded by Josh Clarkson's unbeaten 53 off 31 balls.

They struggled for momentum throughout after losing their first three wickets cheaply - Mahela Jayawardene for a golden duck, George Worker for two and Jesse Ryder without scoring.

Wellington's bowlers impressed with their accuracy and discipline, Brent Arnel, Grant Elliott and Hamish Bennett picking up two wickets apiece.

Arnel took 2-16 off his four overs, Elliott 2-22 and Bennett 2-34 while former Black Caps spinner Jeetan Patel did well to finish with 1-35 despite Pukekura Park's small boundaries.

Central looked to have the game well under control after winning the toss and opting to bowl.

Wellington's usually reliable top order failed to fire and it took a stubborn eighth-wicket stand from Patel and Matt Taylor to resurrect their innings.

Taylor posted an unbeaten 48 off 25 balls, blasting four sixes and three fours, while Patel impressed with a quickfire 28 off 11.

Blair Tickner again led the way with the ball for Central Districts, backing up his five-wicket haul from last week against Auckland at Pukekura Park with 4-34 from his four overs.

The 23-year-old seamer attacked the stumps relentlessly, removing Wellington skipper Hamish Marshall and first drop Tom Blundell with successive balls to leave the Firebirds reeling at 8-2 after 10 balls.

Elliott survived the hat-trick ball, but his dismissal for 16 left Wellington 34-3 after six overs.

Wickets continued to fall regularly until Taylor and Patel came together with the score at 114-7 and slammed 58 runs from the last 25 balls.

Wellington's only T20 title win came two years ago, and Saturday's victory completed a dream finish to the competition after they lost their four opening matches.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon