Jesse Ryder has delivered some bad news to New Zealand's domestic bowlers.
After clouting a quickfire 60 to lead Wellington to a 10-run Twenty20 win over Auckland tonight, the big-hitting enigma said he had no immediate plans to return from his international exile and make himself available for the Black Caps.
"Not at this stage. I'm just enjoying playing domestic cricket and we'll see what happens in the new year," Ryder said.
Luke Ronchi (43) and Michael Papps (38) helped Wellington post 184-6 at Eden Park and it looked like they would cruise to a comfortable win before Auckland import Phil Mustard turned up the heat.
The English opener scored just 30 from his first 40 balls at the crease, before suddenly flicking the switch to finish with 97 not out from 66.
His heroics left Auckland needing 21 from the last over, but young Scott Kuggeleijn held his nerve as Wellington (4-2) moved level with Northern Districts (4-1) at the top of the table.
Even against Andre Adams and Kyle Mills, Ryder again made batting look ridiculously easy during his 37-ball knock.
He could have been out first ball, through a leading edge off Mills, but Adams spilt a tumbling catch at mid-off using one hand when he had time to try two.
That miss turned out to be the decisive moment of the match.
Ryder combined raw power with deft touch and brilliant placement, bringing up his 50 with a one-handed six off Bhupinder Singh.
The target of 185 was certainly achievable but Wellington captain Grant Elliott ran out dangerman Lou Vincent off the first ball with a superb under-arm direct hit from side on.
Mark Houghton (1-17), Dimitri Mascarenhas (1-24) and Dane Hutchinson (1-26) all bowled smart and Wellington were able to withstand Mustard's late surge.
JD Ryder b MR Quinn 60
Tamim Iqbal c MR Quinn b KD Mills 0
MHW Papps c D Grobbelaar b AR Adams 38
L Ronchi c Craig Cachopa b AR Adams 43
GD Elliott c D Grobbelaar b AR Adams 4
AD Mascarenhas not out 19
SC Kuggeleijn c D Grobbelaar b AR Adams 6
HKP Boam not out 6
Extras (b 2, lb 6, nb 0) 8
Total (for 6 wickets, 20.0 overs) 184
Fall: 1-0 (Tamim Iqbal, 0.2), 2-61 (MHW Papps, 5.4), 3-140 (JD Ryder, 13.5), 4-153 (L Ronchi, 15.1), 5-153 (GD Elliott, 15.2), 6-162 (SC Kuggeleijn, 17.2)
Bowling: KD Mills 4-0-49-1, MR Quinn 3-0-24-1, AR Adams 4-0-25-4, Bhupinder Singh 4-0-28-0, D Grobbelaar 4-0-38-0, AK Kitchen 1-0-12-0
L Vincent run out (GD Elliott) 0
P Mustard not out 97
GJ Hopkins c JD Ryder b AD Mascarenhas 18
AK Kitchen c SC Kuggeleijn b MV Houghton 1
C de Grandhomme c LJ Woodcock b SC Kuggeleijn 2
Craig Cachopa c MV Houghton b DS Hutchinson 24
D Grobbelaar not out 15
Extras (b 8, lb 2, wd 7, nb 0) 17
Total (for 5 wickets, 20.0 overs) 174
Fall: 1-0 (L Vincent, 0.1), 2-45 (GJ Hopkins, 7.2), 3-51 (AK Kitchen, 8.4), 4-53 (C de Grandhomme, 9.2), 5-135 (Craig Cachopa, 16.5)
Bowling: MV Houghton 4-1-17-1 (1w, AD Mascarenhas 4-0-24-1 (1w, SC Kuggeleijn 4-0-41-1 (1w, DS Hutchinson 4-0-26-1 (2w, LJ Woodcock 2-0-30-0, GD Elliott 1-0-17-0, JD Ryder 1-0-9-0
- © Fairfax NZ News
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