Cricket: Canterbury make Ford Trophy final

By Niall Anderson

Canterbury all-rounder Todd Astle. Photo / Photosport
Canterbury all-rounder Todd Astle. Photo / Photosport

Canterbury sit in the box seat for the Ford Trophy title after defeating Wellington in the major semifinal today.

Playing at Hagley Oval as Wellington relinquished their home advantage due to a scheduling conflict at the Basin Reserve, Canterbury reached 250 after being inserted into bat.

Usual key contributors Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham were dismissed within the first five overs, but 84 from opener Chad Bowes steered the innings, ably assisted by Todd Astle, who compiled 61.

Canterbury were well positioned at 204-4, but stumbled to 224-9 before another helpful cameo from Cole McConchie guided them to a respectable total.

Wellington lost early wickets in their response as Matt Henry and Henry Shipley bowled aggressively, but 63 from Luke Ronchi eased them back into the contest.

However, a sluggish innings from Luke Woodcock (18 from 45) handed the ascendancy back to Canterbury, who cleaned up the tail to claim a 27 run victory.

Wellington will get a second chance at qualifying for the final when they host Central Districts on Wednesday, after CD took down Northern Districts in the minor semifinal.

Central posted 336-7 at Pukekura Park, led by George Worker's 79 and Tom Bruce's 81-ball 100, consisting of six fours and eight sixes.

A great spell from Ish Sodhi (3-46) reduced CD to 216-6, but Kieran Noema-Barnett feasted on the other ND bowlers, smashing 74 from 49 balls to put the hosts in prime position.

ND's already slim chances diminished further with opener Bharat Popli's inexcusable 16 off 42 balls, which left ND requiring eight runs an over when he departed.

Corey Anderson looked in good touch as he struck 11 boundaries on his way to 79, and Scott Kuggeleijn crushed an unbeaten 85 from 52, but ND fell to a 48 run defeat and were eliminated from the playoffs.

* The Otago Sparks claimed their first Twenty 20 title, defeating the Canterbury Magicians by five runs.

Suzie Bates was unsurprisingly the star for Otago, batting for 19 overs to make 74 from 52 as the Sparks mustered 133-6 batting first.

Canterbury pushed them close in response, but 4-21 from 17-year-old Kate Heffernan swung the contest back to Otago, who held on to claim victory.

The women's one-day final between Canterbury and Auckland takes place at Hagley Oval tomorrow at 10.00am.

- NZ Herald

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