Pressure on Canterbury to quickly bounce back

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 25/03/2013

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The wheels yesterday fell off the Canterbury Wizards' domestic-one day campaign, but they have two days to reattach them before Wednesday's must-win playoff match with Wellington.

The Wizards' horrendous 128-run loss to Auckland in Hamilton yesterday was only made more bearable by the fact they'd already earned a life courtesy of finishing in the top two after pool play. After Auckland had won the toss yesterday and Canterbury had them teetering at 162-5, the Red and Blacks had every reason to be happy.

Nothing else went their way.

Colin Munro again punished Canterbury, scoring his second hundred against them this season.

Munro scored 118 off just 81 balls as he and Donovan Grobbelaar (44) added 116 for the sixth wicket in good time.

That helped Auckland post a competitive 314-9 and when they knocked the top off the Wizards' batting order, the game was all but won.

Black Caps Chris Martin and Kyle Mills then reduced Canterbury to 13-3 and the challenge from there was simply too great.

Canterbury were eventually dismissed in the 44th over for just 186.

Shanan Stewart continued his fine run, scoring 71, while Rob Nicol (45) and Cole McConchie (30) were the only others to get starts. Martin took career best figures of 5-21.

Canterbury now play Wellington on Wednesday at Hagley Oval for the right to take on Auckland in Sunday's final.

In Wellington, the hosts thumped Northern Districtsby eight wickets. ND self destructed, falling from 96-0 to be all out for 140 as Jeetan Patel took 4-21 from his 10 overs. Wellington then hit the target in just 22.4 overs.

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- The Press

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