Cricket: Raining sixes in New Plymouth

By Niall Anderson

Jesse Ryder helped set a solid platform for the big-hitting Central Districts. Photo /
Jesse Ryder helped set a solid platform for the big-hitting Central Districts. Photo /

Pukekura Park played host to some record-breaking hitting today, with 31 sixes being smoked as Central Districts beat Northern Districts by 81 runs in their Ford Trophy clash.

The tiny New Plymouth ground once again proved to be a six-hitting haven as shots went flying into the embankment with abandon - CD blasting 17 sixes, and ND going for the maximum on 14 occasions.

The CD top order shone with their batting firepower, as George Worker (62 off 81 balls) and Jesse Ryder (58 from 42) set a superb platform for the Stags to build from.

Once they departed, two of the region's best prospects stepped up, with Will Young (85 from 57) and Tom Bruce (71 from 45) combining in a devastating 147-run stand from just 88 deliveries to take the contest away from the inexperienced Knights bowlers.

Although debut seamer Tony Goodin took four wickets, the hosts ended up making 363-8, with every Knights bowler going at over six runs per over as they felt the full force of the onslaught.

Northern were always going to have to attack in response, and their hopes were realistically dashed within the first over, with two wickets falling to Seth Rance's bowling.

At 125-7, a huge defeat looked on the cards, but Daryl Mitchell gave the contest a much-needed jolt with a breath-taking innings, smashing eight sixes in a career-best 120 from 107 balls.

He got assistance from number 10 batsman Jimmy Baker, who made 48 as the pair combined for a New Zealand record ninth-wicket partnership of 117.

However, when Mitchell fell, so did the Knights' chances of a miracle win, CD wrapping up the comfortable victory to sit in third on the ladder.

They're one point behind Auckland in second, who held on to beat Wellington by 12 runs at Eden Park Outer Oval.

Michael Guptill-Bunce made 73 on debut while Hong Kong international Mark Chapman added a quickfire 62 as the hosts compiled 288-9.

Michael Papps (72) and Tom Blundell (73) kept Wellington in the hunt, but they were always behind the asking rate and were eventually defeated by a slew of late-order runouts.

Auckland sit three points behind Canterbury, who rebounded from a horror start to beat Otago by 47 runs.

The Gary Stead-coach side found themselves at 8-3 after seven overs, but four players reached 40 in the middle order to guide them to a competitive 257-7.

In response, Otago lost consistent wickets to be all out for 210, giving Canterbury a handy buffer at the top of the ladder.

- NZ Herald

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