Just two days after scoring a career high 162 not out, Michael Papps has done the near unthinkable and backed it up with another 150 plus score in round two of the Ford Trophy One Day domestic competition.
The veteran opener made 154 off 130 balls for his Wellington Firebirds, but despite his brilliant effort he and his side still fell ten runs short of the Central Stags first inning total of 302 for seven.
Unsurprisingly, the Firebirds pursuit revolved around Papps for the entire innings. He was assisted by plenty of quick cameos, the best of which was 33 from Stephen Murdoch, but no one managed to stick with him to really take the chase by the horns.
In the end Papps fell in the 48th over to effectively end the game, as the Firebirds were restricted to 292 for nine at the end of 50 overs.
The Stags bowling attack went for runs, but all six of them managed to contribute to the wickets column. Tarun Nethula was the most impressive, taking an economical two for 33 from ten overs, while Ben Wheeler and Adam Milne also took a couple.
Earlier, the Stags top-order had set the Basin Reserve alight, with all of the top six making 21 or more.
Jamie How (39) and Jeet Raval (49) put on 91 for the opening partnership, setting the platform for a big total. Their good work would be continued, with Ross Taylor coming in and making a measured 61 from 67 balls, including two big sixes.
His captain, Kieran Noema-Barnett, would go on to make the top score though with a boundary laden 67 from 50 balls – his featuring four maximums.
The joint efforts of the front-line batsmen promised a big score and in the end they resulted with an imposing score of just over 300. James Franklin was chief wicket-taker for the Firebirds with three scalps from his eight overs for 35.
It was an all-round entertaining encounter, which marks the Stags first win and the Firebirds first loss of the competition.