Stags cruise to eight-wicket win

The best efforts of BJ Watling were not enough to deny State Central Stags outright points in a State Championship match in Hamilton today.

The State Northern Knights opening batsman struck a defiant 111 in his team's second innings at Seddon Park but lacked support to stretch the visitors.

After dismissing the hosts for 249, Central left themselves requiring just 96 runs to pocket maximum points on the final afternoon of the four-day fixture.

It was a target they chased down for the loss of just two wickets to sit atop the championship standings after securing their second successive outright result following an earlier win over Auckland.

Opener Peter Ingram gave them early momentum with 38 off 53 balls to back up from his career best 247 in Central’s first innings of 479 for nine declared.

Watling had resumed this morning on 33 with Northern on 83 for two after conceding a first innings deficit of 154 runs.

While skipper James Marshall hung around long enough to contribute 33, Watling largely provided the only resistance as wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end.

Lower order batsman Bruce Martin chipped in with 20 but otherwise 23-year-old Watling fought a lone hand before reaching his fourth first-class century.

He was eventually the last man out for 111, including 16 boundaries, after 382 minutes at the crease.

The Central bowlers shared the spoils, with left-arm spinner George Worker the best with figures of three for 54 off 28 overs.

NZPA

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