About the Match
Central Districts registered a massive win against Auckland by 64 runs in their last game, taking their points tally to 22 and remain at the top of the table; they will take on Canterbury, who are placed third with 16 points, on 31st December at New Plymouth. The Stags have been invincible for most part of the league till now, having lost only 2 games, and will be determined to keep their winning momentum going. Canterbury on the other hand has had a mixed bag, and would be eager to improve its chances of making it to the knock-out stage.
Ross Taylor put up a brilliant show with the bat coming in at No.4 against Auckland and posting an unbeaten 82 off 41; Dane Cleaver, Mahela Jayawardene and Will Young did well to keep the runs flowing and they combined together to post a 213-run target for the opposition. Medium pacer Blair Tickner then took a stupendous 5-19 that demolished Auckland, leading to a 64-run victory. Others like Rance, Feldman, McCone and spinner George Worker provided regular breakthroughs.
In the previous match against Wellington, George Worker, Ben Wheeler and Seth Rance caused upsets for the opponents with quick dismissals and restricted them to 133 runs; while Worker claimed 3-26, Wheeler and Rance took 2 wickets apiece. Spinner Marty Kain and others like McCone and Tickner add depth to the squad and they have a well-balanced pace and spin combination.
The batsmen chased down 134 easily against Wellington thanks to a power-packed 52-run opening stand between Worker and Jayawardene, and good contributions by Tom Bruce and Cleaver. They have a strong batting unit and bowling attack that makes them a tough unit to crack.
Batting first against Knights, the batsmen failed to build steady partnerships and they could muster only 127 runs; Henry Nicholls who has been in good form, couldn’t get the big runs and was dismissed at 25. Todd Astle tried to revive the innings but his 37 off 22 wasn’t enough; he then showcased his all-rounder skills by taking 2-21 and along with Tim Johnston’s 2 scalps, tried to defend the total but it was a lost cause. The defeat by 6 wickets would have dampened their spirit but they have good resources with bat and ball to make a comeback here.
When they met Central Districts in the opening match of the series, Canterbury was unable to reach a reduced target of 84 from 8.5 overs despite a good show by Bowes, Cam Fletcher and Andrew Ellis, who had taken 3 wickets too with the ball. They will be eager to redeem themselves with a win here.
In the match against Otago, Bowes posted a superb 54 off 39 to steer the innings to 152; he got good support from Ellis and Peter Fulton down the line. The bowlers then combined their skills to outwit the opposition and thanks to a disciplined attack by Astle and Jamieson, they won the match by 16 runs. They have an in-form bowling squad that could try to demolish the Stags here.
The Stags are on a winning spree and could prove to be a formidable force to reckon with here; and, considering the above mentioned fact