The Wellington Firebirds beat the Otago Volts by 22 runs to secure their second Ford Trophy victory in four rounds at Invercargill on Wednesday.
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Like the first ANZ Test in Dunedin, the Firebirds - Volts contest suffered rain in the morning, and was shortened to a 41 over contest.
Despite that, the Firebirds batting first ran away to an imposing 309, and would have been left wondering what they would have got in 50. Jesse Ryder was explosive with 72 runs from 39, as was Papps again (88), Brodie (54), with Elliott and Boam rounding out the innings.
Nearly all the Volts’ batsmen got starts but only Sam Wells (46) and Derek de Boorder (68) were able to convert to a half century with no-one going on to make a big total. When De Boorder went out, so did Otago’s hope of reaching the total, like the other sides batting second in this round, they weren’t quite able to chase down the big total set, finishing on 287 all out. Mark Gillespie took 5 for 71 for the Firebirds.
The win keeps the Firebirds firmly in the race for the Preliminary Finals series at the halfway mark of the round-robin competition, with the Central Stags and the Auckland Aces both winning their fourth round matches on Wednesday as well.
The Firebirds’ next match is against the Aces at Eden Park on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Jamie How’s remarkable record-breaking double century in Hamilton, in a round where 2,110 runs were scored, dominated the other round four of the Ford Trophy.
Five of the six teams recorded totals well over 300 (including the Firebirds’ 309 from 41 rain-shortened overs) in a round where the bat dominated the ball:
• Total runs scored by all six teams: 2,110
• Average match total: 703
• Average innings total: 351
How now shares the all time second highest List A score of 222 with South Africa’s Graeme Pollock (the highest is held by Ali Brown who scored 268 for Surrey in 2002). His innings is the all time NZ domestic List A individual high score and the first NZ List A double century. How smashed 27 fours and 8 sixes, bringing up his first 100 from 60 balls, and taking a mere 66 further to bring up his double century.
The Stags’ opening partnership of 322 between How and Jeet Ravel (who scored 115 from 106 balls) is the new partnership record for any wicket in NZ domestic List A, and fell just five runs short of the all-time List A partnership record.
The Auckland Aces’ two Colins, Munro and de Grandhomme, combined for a New Zealand record 5th wicket partnership of 229, turning the innings around in spectacular fashion from 50-4. Munro posted 151 from 107 balls, while de GrandHomme ended on 115 from 85. The Aces were eventually bowled out for 356 with two balls left in their innings.
Brad Cachopa lead the charge for The Wizards, with a fine century of 126 from 117 balls to set the tone. In the end, the large total proved just out of reach for the Wizards, who were bowled out for 343 in the last over.