The Central Stags have claimed a thrilling one wicket win over the Canterbury Wizards at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth and have leapt into third spot on the Plunket Shield points table.
Overnight centurions Shanan Stewart and Kruger van Wyk continued on this morning adding a further 123 runs in 23 overs to take the Wizards through to 551 for five before the declaration came.
The pair shared a 379 run partnership for the sixth wicket with both players hitting their highest First Class scores in the process. Van Wyk finished on 178, his fourth First Class ton and Stewart managed a mammoth 227 not out.
The Central Stags were left with a target of 361 and managed to knock off the runs with one wicket to spare.
The run chase was set up by a 126 run third wicket partnership between George Worker (61) and Mathew Sinclair (76) but the wicket of Worker sparked a collapse that saw them lose three quick wickets.
Wicketkeeper batsman Bevin Griggs held the innings together, hitting a resilient 53 not out with debutant and number 11 batsman Adam Milne contributing a valuable three runs to get the home side across the line.
Spinner Jason Donnelly managed to take four wickets with new ball bowlers Chris Martin and Hamish Bennett chipping in with two each.
The loss sees the Canterbury Wizards fall from second to fourth but still in the hunt on 20 points – 16 behind competition leaders the Northern Knights.
Day 3: Canterbury Wizards lead by 209 runs with 5 wickets in hand
The Canterbury Wizards have put in a much better effort in their second innings after being asked to follow in by the Central Stags.
Unbeaten centuries from Shanan Stewart and Kruger van Wyk has helped the Wizards through to 400 for five and given them a lead of 209 with one day to play.
Stewart is on 137 with van Wyk on 122 with the pair putting on 228 for the sixth wicket and will continue tomorrow.
Ewen Thompson picked up two wickets for the Stags.
Day 2: Canterbury Wizards trail by 165 runs with 9 wickets in hand
It was a successful day for the Central Stags as they moved their total through to 414 and then bowled out the Canterbury Wizards for 223 and enforced the follow on.
Starting the day on 47, Brendon Diamanti batted his way to the Stags top score of 94 before being the last batsman out.
Diamanti was supported by wicketkeeper batsmen Bevin Griggs who made a useful 40 and lower order batsman Seth Rance who belted a quick 50 at towards the end.
Spinner Rob Nicol took three for the Wizards while Brandon Hiini picked up two.
Canterbury’s first innings got of to a steady start with opener Michael Papps hitting 44 and number four batsman Johannes Myburgh reaching 47 but the rest of the top order failed.
A late 59 from Kruger van Wyk helped but he was unsupported by a tail that crumbled easily.
Once again it was overall MVP leader Ewen Thompson causes the problems. The Stags paceman tore through the Wizards line up to finish with five for 65.
The other key wicket taker was debutant Adam Milne, fresh from the Under 19 World Cup. The young quick bowler took the early wicket of Rob Nicol before coming back to mop up the tail and finish with four for 52.
Canterbury lost the early wicket of Michael Papps for a duck after being asked to bat again. Rob Nicol (1*) and Peter Fulton (19*) will resume tomorrow.
Day 1: Central Stags 289/7 - first innings
Half centuries from Jamie How and Brad Patton gave the Central Stags a solid start in their Plunket Shield match against the Canterbury Wizards at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.
The pair put on 82 for the second wicket before How was run out on 62. Canterbury Spinner Jason Donnelly then snared the prize wicket of Mathew Sinclair cheaply but Patton (56) and Tim Weston (40) managed to consolidate.
They both left with the score on 192 but the trend continued with Brendon Diamanti and Bevin Griggs building another useful partnership.
Griggs departed for 41 the Stags and was followed by Ewen Thompson while Diamanti remains unbeaten on 47.
Seamer Brandon Hiini was the pick of the Wizards attack taking two for 39.