Wizards facing struggle at the Basin

The defending champions are in a battle to avoid an innings defeat in their State Championship match against State Wellington Firebirds at the Basin Reserve in the capital.

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State Canterbury Wizards were 115-3 at stumps on the third day of play, still 152 short of making the hosts bat again.

Resuming their first innings on 45-2 in response to the Firebirds’ 428-8, Canterbury folded under pressure from BLACKCAPS James Franklin and Jeetan Patel.

Franklin, after removing opener Michael Papps for 16 yesterday, added the wickets of Shanan Stewart (33) and Leighton Burtt (27) for figures of 3-22.

Spinner Patel removed Andrew Ellis (32), Iain Robertson (0) and Corey Anderson (3) for figures of 3-55 and Andrew Lamb took 2-26 as Canterbury wickets fell at regular intervals to dismiss them for 162 leaving them 67 runs short of avoiding the follow-on.

The Wizards’ second innings was soon in trouble at 46-2 after Firebirds skipper Matthew Bell enforced the follow on.

Todd Astle's watchful innings was ended when Graham Napier trapped him leg before wicket, having scored 26 from 41 balls.

Ten runs later, Patel took his fourth wicket of the match when he bowled Ellis for seven.

Papps and Stewart pushed the score out to 110 before Napier struck again, bowling Stewart for 39.

At stumps, the not out batsmen were Papps (37) and Michael Davidson (1).

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