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Paceman Hilfenhaus bags five Otago wickets

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/12/2016

Australian paceman Ben Hilfenhaus has lodged the best figures of the domestic Twenty20 season to steer Canterbury to a seven-run Twenty20 win over Otago in Christchurch.

Hilfenhaus took 5-23 from his four overs to cripple Otago's chase after the hosts had posted 157-7.

Travelling steadily at 93-3, the home side were rocked by two double-wicket overs from 27-Test seamer Hilfenhaus.

His dismissal of captain Hamish Rutherford for 38 helped spark a late meltdown as Otago scratched out 150-9.

Peter Fulton scored 64 and Henry Nicholls 52 for Canterbury, who climb to fourth, sharing the same three win-three loss record as third-placed Otago.

The competition has tightened considerably after fifth-placed Northern Districts upset second-placed Central Districts by 10 runs, leaving those two teams separated by just one win with four rounds remaining.

Mitchell Santner was a key figure for Northern Districts, who blazed to 197-5 before restricting the visitors to 187-5 at Hamilton's Seddon Park.

Black Caps allrounder Santner raced to an unbeaten 45 off 21 balls before recording comfortably the most economical figures of the game, taking 1-12 off three overs.

His wicket was that of Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene, who smashed 64 off 36 balls. It was Jayawardene's third big score since arriving in New Zealand, lifting him to the top of the competition run-scoring chart.

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