Northern Knights win after record stand
Ross Taylor and Kruger van Wyk fought hard but the Central Stags ultimately had no answer to the Northern Knights at Nelson's Saxton Oval yesterday.
The Knights eventually cruised to an 84-run first round Ford Trophy victory to put a sobering early crimp in the Stags' one-day title defence.
A record 155-run fourth-wicket partnership between Daryl Mitchell (95) and James Marshall (93) and an impressive early display of swing bowling by Trent Boult provided the substance to a convincing Knights performance.
Not even an entertaining 75 by Taylor and 51 from van Wyk could alter the final outcome as the Stags mustered only 238 in reply to the Knights' massive 322 for seven.
Mitchell and Marshall's record stand dominated Northern's innings, the pair coming together at 95 for three in the 18th over to plunder the Stags bowling.
Anton Devcich (21), Daniel Flynn (25) and Kane Williamson (26) all made starts but it was Mitchell and Marshall who cashed in on a good batting strip as they immediately began to increase the run rate.
Mitchell brought up his 50 with a boundary to fine leg off 57 balls, including five fours and a six over wide long on, with Marshall's half century coming off just 45 balls and also including five fours.
But just five runs short of what would have been a maiden one-day century, Mitchell played a ball straight back to bowler Kieran Noema-Barnett to end their stand at 250 for four in the 43rd over. Mitchell's innings lasted 92 balls and included nine fours and two sixes.
Marshall added a further 35 runs with Tim Southee for the fifth wicket before Marshall lobbed Adam Milne to Taylor at extra cover, having faced just 83 balls and hit eight boundaries.
It sparked an excellent spell of bowling by Milne, who took three wickets in eight deliveries, including Southee for 23 and Jono Boult for a first ball duck.
A belligerent Brad Wilson finished unbeaten on 29 off 12 balls after smashing 18 off the final over.
The Stags began disastrously when Trent Boult removed openers Jamie How and Mathew Sinclair within the space of four deliveries at five for two. And when Devcich held a blistering diving catch at mid wicket to dismiss Jeet Raval off Southee it was 14 for three.
Taylor counter-attacked, at one stage hitting 41 off 14 balls, and his entire innings lasted 79 balls.
Trent Boult ended with figures of four for 38 off 7.4 overs.