A memorable, maiden Ford Trophy one-day century to Tom Latham highlighted the Canterbury Wizards’ 19-run win over the Wellington Firebirds today.
The 19-year-old left-hander was a class act as he struck a career-high 130 off 119 balls to guide the Wizards to a powerful 306 for eight at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
The hosts made a spirited response thanks to 122 from Stephen Murdoch, his first century in the competition, but they were eventually dismissed for 287 in 48.5 overs.
The 44th over from Ryan McCone proved pivotal, because he dismissed Murdoch and Craig Cachopa off successive deliveries to leave the Firebirds on 241 for seven.
After hitting 13 fours off 127 balls, Murdoch perished when he sliced a low full toss to Latham, then Cachopa was caught at cover by Nicol, leaving the hard yards to the lower order.
Luke Woodcock whacked 15 off 10 and Jeetan Patel 24 off 14, but the latter was one of two wickets snared by Mitchell Claydon in the penultimate when he conceded just one run.
McCone was expensive but successful also in taking four for 63 off nine overs while seamer Andrew Ellis was tight in claiming one for 41 off 10 and young Matt Henry took one for 46 off nine.
In just his ninth one-dayer for the Wizards, Latham revealed a full range of strokes as he built on his impressive form in the recent Twenty20 competition.
The Wizards had been in some bother at 40 for three, including ducks for the experienced pair of Peter Fulton and Shanan Stewart, before Latham joined opener Rob Nicol in an innings-turning stand of 104 for the fourth wicket.
Nicol departed for an 89-ball 55 when trapped leg before wicket by Harry Boam, then Latham found support from Reece Young, who made 29 off 24, and Henry Nicholls, with a run-a-ball 24.
Latham really warmed to his work, rushing from 50 to 100 in only 30 balls, reaching three figures off 93 deliveries and ending with 14 fours and three sixes beside his name before holing out in the final over.
Former international Mark Gillespie took the first three wickets to fall, all in the space of four balls, before being collared later on and ending with the figures of four for 52 off 10 overs.