The Central Stags have finished second in the domestic Plunket Shield cricket competition after the cancellation of the final two rounds.

The decision follows a global trend of cancelled sporting fixtures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The shortened season sees the end of an up and down campaign for the Stags, who won two games, lost three and drew one.

Unable to string together back to back victories all season, Central fell short of completing a Plunket Shield three-peat, with the Wellington Firebirds finishing top of the table 26 points clear.


Central had consistent production with the bat, with captain Greg Hay, Dane Cleaver and South-African born Brad Schmulian in the top 10 run scorers for the competition.

Whanganui's Ben Smith and fellow Whanganui Collegiate old boy Tom Bruce both struggled with consistency over the season, averaging 25.1 and 33.16 with the bat respectively.

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Smith had two fifties for the competition, which featured a match high 82 run performance in a draw against Canterbury.

Both had strong performances in their first match against Northern Districts. In his first Plunket Shield appearance of the season, Bruce scored 71 not out and 60, with Smith adding 52 to help carry the Stags to a 74-run win.

Twenty-two year old South-African Willem Ludick was the pick of the bowlers for the Stags, bagging 21 wickets for the season, one shy of competition leading Otago's Jacob Duffy and Black Cap Neil Wagner.

Wellington Firebird and Black Cap to-be Devin Conway lead the competition in runs for the second year in a row, scoring 701 over the campaign with an average of 87.62. His 327 not out versus Canterbury is the highest score in Plunket Shield history.