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Cricket: Firebirds beat the Stags by 14 runs to take title

Wellington skipper Hamish Marshall will be opening for the Firebirds. Photo / Photosport
Wellington skipper Hamish Marshall will be opening for the Firebirds. Photo / Photosport

The Firebirds beat the Stags by 14 runs, with 17 coming from the final over. Josh Clarkson top-scored with 53 off 31 balls. 38-year-old Brent Arnel finishes with two for 16.

Match report to come shortly at nzherald.co.nz.

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Central Districts need 32 from the final over.

Central Districts 141-7 (19 overs, chasing 173)

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Josh Clarkson (21 off 16 balls) is keeping CD in the contest with 19 off the 17th over. Wellington need three good overs from here with 53 required.

Central Districts 120-7 (17 overs, chasing 173)

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Marty Kain and Josh Clarkson try to keep CD in the run chase but strong spells from Wellington's Elliott and Patel have the visitors dominating.

Central Districts 86-6 (14 overs, chasing 173)

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Dane Cleaver joins Smith with the exit of captain Will Young to Grant Elliott at deep mid-wicket. Elliott and Jeetan Patel keep the run rate under control.

Central Districts 60-4 (11 overs, chasing 173)

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Young and Smith consolidate for CD, but Wellington building pressure as the required run rate ramps up over 10. Jeetan Patel completes his first over in the attack.

Central Districts 45-3 (8 overs, chasing 173)

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Arnel strikes again for Wellington, getting Ryder to drive in the air to Grant Elliott at mid-off. The hosts crumbling. Will Young and Ben Smith now at the wicket.

Central Districts 17-3 (5 overs, chasing 173).

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Wellington make the perfect start getting Mahela Jayawardene for a golden duck in the first over with a miscued pull off Brent Arnel and George Worker in the second over, bowled by Hamish Bennett.

Central Districts 5-2 (2 overs, chasing 173).

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Matt Taylor (48 off 25) and Jeetan Patel (28 off 11) have a decent swing towards the end to boost Wellington's chances. Central Districts must still be favourite on a ground which, on December 21, created the world record T20 match aggregate of 497 runs.

Wellington 172-7 (20).

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Wellington give themselves some hope with a late charge, but Blair Tickner gets another two wickets in the 16th over to have 4-16 after three of his own.

Wellington 130-7 (17 overs).

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Central Districts in full control with the additional wicket of Luke Woodcock for seven off six. Left-arm orthodox spinner George Worker finishes with 2-20 from his four overs.

Wellington 87-5 (14 overs).

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Steady wicket diet continues. Papps struggles for timing in his 29 off 35 and holes out to Marty Kain off George Worker.

Wellington 66-4 (11 overs).

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Central Districts strike again. Josh Clarkson catches Grant Elliott at deep mid-wicket off Ryan McCone for 16 off 12 balls.

Wellington 44-3 (8 overs).

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Wellington consolidate through Michael Papps and Grant Elliott. Papps escapes getting caught by Ryan McCone at long off Seth Rance in fifth over when the ball holds up in the breeze.

Wellington 24-2 (5 overs).

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Wellington lose two wickets in the second over, bowled by Blair Tickner. Hamish Marshall spoons to cover and new Black Cap recruit Tom Blundell delivers a meek baseball swing to mid-off.

Wellington 8-2 (2 overs).

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The Central Stags have won the toss and opted to field in the Super Smash final against the Wellington Firebirds at Pukekura Park.

The match has a $100,000 purse on the line.

CENTRAL STAGS

Will Young (c), George Worker, Mahela Jayawardene, Jesse Ryder, Ben Smith, Dane Cleaver, Josh Clarkson, Marty Kain, Ryan McCone, Seth Rance, Blair Tickner, Ajaz Patel (12th)

WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS

Hamish Marshall (c), Michael Papps, Tom Blundell, Michael Pollard, Grant Elliott, Matt Taylor, Luke Woodcock, Jeetan Patel, Anurag Verma, Hamish Bennett, Brent Arnel, Peter Younghusband (12th)

- NZ Herald

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