Central Stags 161-7 from 20 overs (Dean Foxcroft 51, George Worker 44, Logan van Beek 2-19) beat Wellington Firebirds 150 all out in 19.4 overs (Luke Woodcock 63, Devon Conway 39, Blair Tickner 3-25) by 11 runs at the Basin Reserve, Wellington.
The Central Stags have brought the Firebirds’ hopes of a Super Smash finals spot to and end with an 11 run win at the Basin. The Stags now sit second behind the Knights, and will wait to see if they’ll meet the Auckland Aces or Otago Volts in the playoffs, with two regular season rounds still to be completed.
The Stags got away to a flyer through George Worker (44) and Will Young (19), before Dean Foxcroft continued his hot form with his third half century of the competition with 51, to help the visitors put 161-7 on the board in extremely blustery conditions.
“It was windy in the first innings, especially on one side, you just couldn’t hit a boundary there because the wind was too strong! I got off to a good start, had a couple more dot balls at the end than I would have liked, it was nice to get a 50 against such good and experienced bowlers. It’s one of the best ones, yes,” said Dean Foxcroft.
Blair Tickner (3-25), Ben Wheeler (1-42) and Seth Rance (1-27) then went through the Firebirds’ top order to have them wobbling at 59-6, before Luke Woodcock rolled back the years to get the home team, who were battling to save their slim playoff hopes, close in their chase.
We’ve got good bowling plans, and plans for each batsman, and we just bowled to our fields. It was an incredible effort by the bowlers on a flat wicket, with lots of twos and threes. Ticks (Blair Tickner) is full of confidence, everyone’s delighted he’s got a call-up to the BLACKCAPS, he did a great job and got some key wickets for us,” said Foxcroft.
With 12 needed from the last over and just two wickets in hand, the pressure finally told. Ben Sears was run out on the first ball, before Doug Bracewell removed Woodcock for 63 runs swinging for the fences to bowl the Firebirds out, securing an 11 run win for the Stags, and their spot in the playoffs.