The Central Stags had the measure of the Wellington Firebirds in their HRV Cup Twenty20 match at the Basin Reserve in the capital today.
The Stags won the second round match by 25 runs after successfully defending their 155 for nine.
The Firebirds managed just 130 for nine in response with only Harry Boam and Craig Cachopa causing the Stags any grief as the home side were unable to utilise Jesse Ryder after he’d earlier suffered a calf injury.
Cachopa scored 28 off 24 balls and Boam 47 off 35, with two sixes and two fours before he was running out in the last over.
Tall seamer Jacob Oram was the pick of the Stags attack, claiming three for 24 off his four overs,
The Stags’ innings revolved around two dab hands from opener Jamie How and Ross Taylor.
How ensured a quick start by striking three sixes and two fours en route to his 32 off 16 balls before he was bowled by left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock.
Taylor, too, was in fine touch as he compiled 37 off 32, including a brace of sixes, as the Stags recovered from a potentially perilous 72 for five in the 11th over.
The Firebirds pinned much of their faith in their slow bowlers, with spinners Woodcock, Muttiah Muralitharan and Jeetan Patel providing 12 of the overs.
The choice of offspinner Patel to open the attack did not come off as he went wicketless while conceding 31 runs but both Woodcock and Sri Lankan import Muralitharan impressed, taking three for 20 and three for 18 respectively to keep the Stags in check.