Captain Grant Elliott led very much by example as the Wellington Firebirds secured their first Ford Trophy one-day win of the season today.
Elliott’s forthright 103 powered the Firebirds to an imposing 307 for five against the Canterbury Wizards at Timaru’s Aorangi Oval and they went on to seal victory by 33 runs when dismissing the hosts for 274 in the 47th over.
He appreciated the ground’s smallish dimensions as he and young Harry Boam rattled on 146 for the fourth wicket after earlier good work put in by Michael Papps, who made 39, Michael Pollard 33 and James Franklin 27.
While Elliott went on his register his second one-day century for the Firebirds, with seven fours and five sixes off 84 balls, 21-year-old Boam fronted with a career best 65 not out containing three fours and four sixes off 48 balls.
The Firebirds also received a late push as wicketkeeper Craig Cachopa smacked 18 not out off seven deliveries as they fell one run shy of the province’s record one-day score of 308 for nine, also against the Wizards in the 2003-04 season.
The Wizards looked likely for long periods as a series of batsmen made starts but Tom Latham’s 57 off 61 balls was the only contribution of substance as Andrew Ellis made 40 off 29, Brendon Diamanti chipped in with 41 off 48, George Worker 40 off 52, Shanan Stewart 39 off 38 and Matt Henry an unbeaten 21 off 15.
Left-arm swing bowler Andy McKay took a bit of tap but showed his experience to return figures of four for 63 off 8.5 overs while Boam completed a fine double with two for 47 off nine.