Flynn's ton not enough for Knights
One-day table-toppers Northern Knights went down to the Wellington Firebirds in Hamilton today, despite a fine century from captain Daniel Flynn.
Flynn’s unbeaten 122 was the chief feature of Northern’s 215 for eight in 50 overs at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.
However, major contributions from James Franklin and Michael Pollard allowed the visitors to get home with three wickets and 17 balls to spare and remain in contention for a finals place in the Ford Trophy competition. Wellington also had star performers with the ball in spin twins Luke Woodcock and Jeetan Patel.
Flynn paced his innings wonderfully on a low, slow wicket to provide the backbone for the hosts.
He adjusted to the pace of the track and the Wellington attack, kept the score ticking over and then accelerated briskly in the dying stages to see the Knights reach a total that seemed highly unlikely at the halfway stage of their 50 overs.
His fifth domestic one-day century came up in 111 balls, and he eventually walked off unbowed after 50 overs, with 122 from 121 balls, featuring 13 fours and three sixes.
Flynn began his morning by winning the toss. He chose to bat and got his side off to a quick start against seamers Brent Arnel and Mark Gillespie.
However, the introduction of spin in the 11th over totally altered the perspective, as the Firebirds picked up wickets regularly while also notably slowing the run-rate.
Left-arm tweaker Woodcock led the way for the visitors, bowling opener Joe Carter and in-form No 3 Daryl Mitchell. He later snared Brad Wilson with a catch off his own bowling and had figures of 3-6 off six overs before finishing his 10 overs with 3-17.
Former Black Cap off-spinner Patel also proved troublesome at the other end, picking up the wickets of Jono Hickey and Mitchell Santner as the Knights slumped to 81-5 midway through their innings.
Scott Kuggeleijn then provided Flynn with the support he was looking for, mixing patience with aggression in making 39 off 62 balls as they added 61 for the sixth wicket to allow the hosts a chance at compiling a competitive total.
Patel ended with 2-16 off his 10 overs but Wellington lacked a third bowler to put Flynn and his team-mates under added pressure.
Grant Elliott took the bold approach to ensure Wellington’s reply didn’t fall behind the required rate early, hitting three fours and a six in making 34 off 30 balls before falling to Ish Sodhi.
In contrast, James Franklin was content to play the anchor role and appeared set to lead his team home until caught and bowled by Black Caps legspinner Sodhi one short of a half-century off 84 balls.
However, he had the help of a belligerent Michael Pollard at the other end, with the right-hander striking five fours and three sixes in his 47-ball 53 to ensure Wellington were able to gain the four points without too much undue sweat.
Seddon Park, Hamilton
DR Flynn not out 122
JF Carter b Woodcock 6
DJ Mitchell b Woodcock 9
JD Hickey lbw Patel 3
BS Wilson c & b Woodcock 1
MJ Santner c Papps b Patel 2
SC Kuggeleijn c Patel b Arnel 39
JJ Boult c Patel b Gillespie 13
IS Sodhi run out 2
GW Aldridge not out 6
Extras (lb 7, wd 5, nb 0) 12
Total (for 8 wickets, 50.0 overs) 215
Fall: 47, 63, 66, 69, 81, 142, 193, 204.
Bowling: BJ Arnel 9-0-55-1 (2w), MR Gillespie 8-1-47-1 (2w), LJ Woodcock 10-2-17-3, JS Patel 10-2-16-2, GD Elliott 10-0-44-0 (1w), HA Walsh 3-0-29-0.
SJ Murdoch c Christopherson b Kuggeleijn 0
MHW Papps lbw Sodhi 34
GD Elliott c Mitchell b Sodhi 34
JEC Franklin c & b Sodhi 49
MA Pollard c Hickey b Kuggeleijn 53
LJ Woodcock c Christopherson b Kuggeleijn 21
HA Walsh c Wilson b Santner 10
MJ Taylor not out 6
JS Patel not out 2
Extras (lb 2, wd 5, nb 0) 7
Total (for 7 wickets, 47.2 overs) 216
Fall: 0, 53, 90, 163, 191, 207, 211
Bowling: SC Kuggeleijn 8.2-0-50-3 (1w), MJ Santner 10-1-48-1 (2w), IS Sodhi 10-0-30-3 (1w), JJ Boult 10-1-44-0, GW Aldridge 6-0-26-0, DJ Mitchell 3-0-16-0 (1w).
Wellington win by three wickets