Day four: Wellington Firebirds 341-6 declared and 172 all out drew with the Devon Hotel Central Stags 290-7 and 161 all out.
All three results were possible late in the day, but in the end discretion was the better part of valour with the Devon Hotel Central Stags batting out the last overs to end the contest as a draw with three wickets left to get the runs and time running out.
The Firebirds middle order was in the runs with James Franklin (74), Luke Woodcock (42*) and Jeetan Patel (34*) all in action in the 15 overs batted before the declaration, leaving the Stags the rest of the day to score 352.
Mark Gillespie continued his fine match to get Jamie How early, but Ben Smith anchored of the innings with 94 from 188. All the Stags batsmen bar Greg Hay made contributions as they made steady progress towards their goal, but as the overs remaining ran out, the Stags had left themselves too much to do with too few wickets in hand. As they shut up shop the draw was the inevitable result.
The draw consigns the Stags to the foot of the table, while the Firebirds sit third, in a strong position with three rounds left.
Day three: Wellington Firebirds 172 all out and 255-4 lead Devon Hotel Central Stags 161 all out by 266 runs.
Only 48 overs were possible on day three at McLean Park, and the Firebirds used the time available to build their lead and put themselves in a position to win the match on day four.
Grant Elliott and James Franklin eventually resumed day three after rain and ground delays - the pair dug in to build a partnership of 105 and extend the Firebirds lead. Elliott fell nine short of his century to a Doug Bracewell catch from Tarun Nethula, but it was the Stags' only wicket of the day. Franklin ended the day not out on 49 from 137 deliveries, while Luke Woodcock took 56 balls for his 16.
The conditions may dictate the approach the Firebirds take on day four, as they assess how much of a cushion they need before drawing their innings to a close and asking the Stags to bat on a pitch that may yet offer assistance.
Day two: Wellington Firebirds 172 all out and 143-3 lead Devon Hotel Central Stags 161 all out by 154 runs.
It’s been a low scoring affair so far at McLean Park in the
Plunket Shield match between the Central Stags and Wellington Firebirds, with
both teams dismissed for under 200 in their first-innings.
Despite a 68 run opening stand between Michael Papps (45)
and Josh Brodie (51) the Firebirds were bundled out for 172 first up. They
fought back however and claimed an 11 run first-innings lead, thanks to a six
wicket haul to Mark Gillespie.
The Firebirds have made a better fist of their second
innings so far, with an unbeaten 50 from Grant Elliot leading them to 143 for
three at stumps on day two. Alongside James Franklin (4*) he’ll resume tomorrow
as they try to extend the Firebirds lead of 153 and give the Stags a challenging
Day one: Wellington Firebirds 172 all out lead Devon Hotel Central Stags 103-5 by 69 runs.
Day one had seen Kieran Noema-Barnett, Ben Smith and Doug
Bracewell tear through the Firebirds, with the captain the chief wicket taker,
finishing with figures of four for 26 from 11 overs.
However, Gillespie too would take advantage of the bowler
friendly conditions, picking up his 19th First-Class five wicket-bag
in the process. He was at his aggressive best, with only Carl Cachopa (53) showing
any real resistance, before he too was another Gillespie victim.
With a small lead in the bank, the Firebirds looked to take
the game away from the Stags in their second innings and the top-order have so
Alongside Elliot’s unbeaten half-century, Brodie posted 49,
setting the platform for a big total on a tough wicket.