Firebirds return to Championship final

Wellington Firebirds secured a place in the State Championship final with a three-wicket win over Central Stags at Palmerston North.

Mark Gillespie took six wickets as the Stags’ second innings at Fitzherbert Park was ended at 353.

Michael Mason led a rearguard action with an unbeaten 39, and Tim Weston added 43.

Stephen Gellatly led the Firebirds charge to their 158 target with an unbeaten 58.

Gellatly was supported by 34 from debuting opener Josh Brodie and a quick-fire knock of 29 from 23 balls from Gillespie – which included six fours.

The win, achieved with a day to spare, moved Wellington to the top of the table and will now appear in the final – their sixth in the last eight seasons.

Victory over Auckland Aces at the Allied Nationwide Finance Basin Reserve in the final round should secure home advantage in next month’s final.

 

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