The Canterbury Wizards are through to Friday's Twenty20 semifinal after a five wicket final round win over Northern Districts at the Hagley Oval today.
Canterbury's finals hopes appeared dead and buried midway through the competition after a loss to Auckland at Eden Park, but they have now won four straight games to qualify. The Districts and Canterbury will meet again in Friday's semi-final in Hamilton with the winner to play Otago in the final.
Their victory was built around a strong bowling effort, which restricted Districts to 156 for six, and a valuable 61 from opener Rob Nicol, who paced their runchase.
Nicol and George Worker laid the platform at the top of the order, combining for a 64-run opening stand. Peter Fulton was aggressive hitting 30 off 17 balls, which included three sixes off an Ish Sodhi over.
They hit a minor speed bump when Nicol and Tom Latham both departed in successive deliveries to Jono Boult.
Brendon Diamanti and Andrew Ellis ensured their would be no collapse, though, safely guiding Canterbury to the win with one over to spare.
Anton Devcich was the standout batsman earlier in the day for Districts, notching a patient 57. He combined for an 86-run second wicket partnership with Brad Wilson.
- Fairfax Media
Should the NZ selectors pick Jesse Ryder if he's available?