New Plymouth's Pukekura Park is not generally kind to spinners due to the short nature of the boundaries but Central Stags' three left arm slow bowlers had a field day, spinning their side to a comfortable six-wicket wicket victory over Northern Knights in a HRV Cup cricket championship match today.
George Worker, Mike Yardy and Ian Blackwell between them took six for 61 from 12 overs as Northern were bundled out for 110 in 18.5 overs on a sticky wicket after a week of heavy rain in Taranaki, Worker ending with the outstanding figures of three for 18 off four overs.
Only opener Brad Wilson was able to make a significant contribution for Northern with 37 off 23 balls, the visitors losing their last nine wickets for 43 runs as the spinners made the most of the slow pitch and pace bowler Michael Mason (two for 16 from 3.5) adapted to the conditions superbly with consistently good slower balls.
Central had a hiccup at the start of the run chase losing two early wickets but captain Jamie How steadied the ship, patiently waiting for the short ball which he was able to dispatch over the short square boundary on four occasions in his 35.
Ross Taylor (35 not out) and Kieran Noema-Barnett (15 not out) guided the hosts past the target with 15 balls to spare after an unbeaten 54-run partnership.
Central Stags moved level with Northern Knights on 18 points as a dog fight loom for the two final spots, though leaders Auckland Aces (24) only need one win from their final two matches to secure their spot in the January 2 decider.