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Wellington beat Auckland in T20 thriller

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/12/2016

Wellington have beaten Auckland by two runs to turn the domestic Twenty20 championship into a logjam.

Veteran offspinner Jeetan Patel held his nerve in the final over as Auckland sought 11 runs to overhaul the visitors' 182-9 at Eden Park Outer Oval.

However, the departure of captain Rob Nicol for 68 early in the over sent momentum Wellington's way and Sean Solia failed to hit a four off the final ball as they reached 180-5.

The men from the capital recorded their second win over Auckland in the space of three days after opening the season with four losses.

Conversely, Auckland were unbeaten until the double setback.

Auckland remain on top and Wellington are still last but just two wins separates all six teams with four rounds remaining.

Nicol, who was dropped twice, found his best support came from Mark Chapman, whose 54 off 30 balls appeared to put the home side on target.

Wellington's score was built around a 116-run stand for the fifth wicket between Michael Pollard (74 off 36) and Tom Blundell (61 off 41).

Legspinner Tarun Nethula took 2-43 to move to the top of the competition's wicket-taking list with 11.

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