Firebirds too good for hapless Central Districts

Last updated 05:00 02/01/2014

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The Central Stags were outhit and outplayed by the Wellington Firebirds in a rain-reduced domestic Twenty20 match in New Plymouth last night.

The match was reduced to six overs each after an hour-long heavy downpour soaked the ground just 15 minutes before the match was about to get under way on time at 4pm.

Play finally started at 6.20pm.

Under the rules, one bowler was permitted to bowl two overs and four others just one over.

The Firebirds scored 88-3 from their six overs batting first, with Grant Elliott clubbing 33 not out, while import Graham Napier's aggression was on full display scoring a quickfire 28no.

Doug Bracewell, in his first game back from injury, bowled his one over well. He went for eight runs and picked up the wicket of James Franklin.

Jacob Oram bowled two overs and, after being knocked around in his first, came back to leak nine in his second which included two dot balls.

The Firebirds' total was always going to be competitive and when Firebirds opening bowler Brent Arnel picked up the wickets of Jamie How first ball and import Josh Cobb with his sixth, it was all downhill for the home side.

The Stags were never in the hunt and at 4-24 after four overs with Peter Trego (20) and Keiran Noema Barnett (2) back in the pavilion, there was no hope of getting any where near the required target.

Carl Cachopa was the only Stags batsman to look in any sort of form. He finished unbeaten on 22, with Bracewell (9) helping take the total to 59-4 - 29 runs short of their opposition.

Wellington would be happy to pick up another four points to keep them in the race for a playoffs spot, while for the winless Stags it will be back to the drawing board in what has been a miserable campaign so far.

The Firebirds now head to Mt Maunganui to play the Northern Knights on Sunday, while the Stags face the table-topping Otago Volts at Pukekura Park on the same day.

Meanwhile, Auckland Heart beat Wellington Blaze by five runs in a rain shortened women's Twenty20 match at Karori Park yesterday.

Auckland posted 91-1 from their eight overs and Wellington got to 86-4.

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- Fairfax Media

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