Firebirds too strong for Knights

Wellington Firebirds recorded just their second win in the domestic men's one-day cricket competition with a 52-run win over Northern Knights.

The victory finally moved them off the bottom of the table, but the return to form comes far too late, with only one round of competition remaining.

Sent in to bat, Wellington lost Jesse Ryder early, run out by Jaden Hatwell for four in the second over. Stephen Murdoch followed in the eighth over to leave Wellington 24 for two and looking decidedly shaky.

However, Cameron Merchant and Grant Elliott put on 165 for the third wicket as the middle order kicked in to boost Wellington to 294 for five.

Merchant's 94 off 110 balls included nine fours and a six, while Elliott put on 80 from 88.

When Merchant went in the 37th over, caught by James Marshall off Graeme Aldridge, BLACKCAPS batsman James Franklin stepped up.

Franklin saw the Wellington innings to a close, belting a unbeaten 52 off 41 balls, helped by a cameo knock of 23 from 21 by Stewart Rhodes.

In reply, Northern put themselves under pressure with a slow start, losing Brad Wilson for four and BJ Watling for 13 as they battled to 33 for two at the start of the 13th over.

Quickfire half centuries from Marshall, who was bowled by Harry Boam two balls after reaching 50, and Anton Devcich (54 from 47) kept Northern Districts hopes alive, but a well-balanced Wellington bowling attack eventually skittled the visitors two balls into the 47th over for 242.

Andy McKay was the pick of the Wellington bowlers with 3-40, but valuable contributions came from Franklin (2-37) and Boam (2-47).

NZPA

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
Tui Active Post HRV Specsavers CCC Powerade
Sky Pitch Radio Network TAB Gillette Accor Hotels City Fitness