SKYCITY Northern Knights 119 all out after 44.4 overs (Mitchell Santner 61, Ryan McCone 6-19, Hamish Bennett 3-16) lost to the Canterbury Wizards 123-4 after 26.4 overs (Dean Brownlie 47*, Rob Nicol 38, Graeme Aldridge 2-13) by six wickets
The Canterbury Wizards secured themselves a home preliminary final with a convincing six wicket win over SKYCITY Northern Knights at Hagley Oval, with record bowling figures from Ryan McCone setting up the victory.
McCone took figures of six for 19 from 10 overs - record best figures for the Wizards in a One Day match – as the Knights were dismissed after 44.4 overs with just 119 on the board. Dean Brownlie then led the home side to victory with an unbeaten 47 to surpass the target after 26.4 overs.
The Wizards will now face the Knights again on Sunday, with the winner to progress straight to the final and the loser to face the winner of the 3v4 preliminary final on Wednesday.
The outlook had looked even worse for the Knights early in their innings, having been reduced to 40 for eight at one stage. No one from the top five was able to get out of single digits, with McCone and Hamish Bennett devastating with ball in hand.
A late partnership of 68 between Mitchell Santner and Anurag Verma for the ninth wicket saw the Knights climb past 100, with Santner fighting his way to 61. It was a valiant solo effort from Santner, but too little too late for the Knights.
On top of McCone’s heroic effort, Bennett too was impressive with figures of three for 16 from 8.2 overs.
The Wizards chase wasn’t all smooth sailing, but a 75 run third wicket stand between Dean Brownlie and Rob Nicol (38) all but secured the victory. In the end it was Brownlie and Henry Nicholls (12*) who brought proceedings to a finish, ensuring a repeat fixture at the same venue on Sunday.