An outstanding partnership between twin centurymakers Dean Robinson and Mathew Sinclair has carried the Central Stags to a magnificent Ford Trophy one-day win over the Canterbury Wizards.
Relative newcomer Robinson scored 130 not out and veteran Sinclair 123 as the Stags ran down the home side’s 291 for five with seven wickets and three balls to spare at Rangiora’s MainPower Oval.
They shared a Stags record partnership for any wicket against allcomers of 231 and barely offered the Wizards the sniff of a chance in a quality collaboration. It also represented the fourth highest partnership for any wicket by any team in the competition’s history.
Both individual scores represented career-best performances, with Sinclair’s third one-day century for the Stags coming in his 136th appearance while Robinson’s role was even more remarkable given the fact this was just his second outing in the competition.
They were eventually parted in the 48th over when Sinclair was caught at point after striking 13 fours and one six off 107 deliveries.
It seemed only appropriate that Robinson, 22, of Taranaki, had the honour of hitting the winning runs off Willie Lonsdale when the field was up, the batsman’s 12th boundary after an almost faultless display spanning 142 balls.
The dual performances of Robinson and Sinclair overshadowed George Worker’s maiden one-day hundred after the 22-year-old left-handed opener scored an eye catching 108 when the Wizards posted a challenging total.
Worker ensured the home prospered with a forthright innings in his sixth one-day outing for the Wizards as he dominated the scoring before being dismissed in the 39th over.
By that stage he had struck 11 fours and two sixes off 123 balls faced and shared a stand of 126 with captain Peter Fulton, who contributed 41 off 63 balls.
A series of handy knocks meant Worker’s exploits were not wasted as Shanan Stewart scored 32 off 31, 19-year-old Tom Latham 22 off 22, Andrew Ellis 28 not out of 24 and Reece Young 22 not out of 11.
The only Stags bowlers to escape heavy punishment were openers Michael Mason, who took one for 47 off 10 overs, and youngster Adam Milne, who collected two for 46 off the same number.