Canterbury was eventually buried under a mass of Wellington runs in their Ford Trophy one-day cricket match at Timaru’s Aorangi Oval.
The Wizards fell 33 runs short of Wellington’s meaty 307 for five, being dismissed in the 47th over yesterday. It was the Wizards’ first loss in four one-day matches – with two rained out – while it was Wellington’s first success.
A sublime 103 from Firebirds captain Grant Elliott steered his team to victory, with the former Black Cap giving a timely reminder of his talent, hitting seven fours and five sixes in his 84-ball innings. Elliott was the architect of a late-innings flourish, after the visitors had strolled through to 146 for three after 36 overs.
Elliott found good support from Harry Boam (65), as the pair shared in a 146-run fourth wicket partnership, from just 91 balls. Earlier, Michael Pollard (33) and former Canterbury player Michael Papps (39) made a safe start, putting on 69 for the first wicket.
Wizards all-rounder Andrew Ellis and medium-fast bowler Ryan McCone made runs hard to come by after captain Peter Fulton won the toss in overcast conditions on a good batting pitch.
Ellis finished his 10 overs with two for 47, while McCone was one of many Canterbury bowlers to receive some late punishment and finished with two for 66.
Elliott and Boam feasted on some sloppy bowling from the home team near the end of the innings, with regular full tosses resulting in boundaries on the small ground.
Canterbury’s run-chase was almost successful on the back of many minor contributions, but in the end, they lacked an Elliott-like contribution.
Tom Latham top-scored with 57, while Ellis was the key late in the innings before being dismissed for 40 in the 46th over.
Canterbury were behind the asking rate from the outset and at 68 for three in the 16th over, it looked like the match was getting away from the Wizards.
An 80-run fourth wicket partnership between Latham and Shanan Stewart (39) gave them stability, but not the run-rate required to mount a challenge.
It wasn’t until Ellis and Brendon Diamanti (41), in his Canterbury debut, came together that the boundaries started to flow.
Their efforts left Canterbury in a position to challenge, needing 80 runs off the last 10 overs.
However, when Elliott combined with Boam to dismiss former Central Districts allrounder Diamanti in the 41st over, the run-rate climbed and the lower-order batsmen could not maintain the momentum.
Former Black Cap pace bowler Andy McKay was the pick of the Wellington bowlers, taking four for 63 to mop up the tailenders.
Below are some photos from the match courtesy of Hayden Leonard