Day 4: Central stay in the hunt with seven wicket win

The Central Stags glided to a seven wicket win over the Wellington Firebirds to keep their Plunket Shield hopes alive.

Strike bowler Doug Bracewell took four for 59 for the Stags at McLean Park in Napier as Wellington’s second innings folded for 207 yesterday.  Bracewell ended with nine scalps for the match after taking his first five wicket haul in the first innings. 

The other standout performer with the ball was 17 year old Stags seamer Adam Milne who backed up his first innings figures of four for 49 with three for 41 in the second.

Opener Neal Parlane played a lone hand for the visitors, scoring a defiant 90 but wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end.

Central needed just 11.4 overs to get the 54 runs required this morning after half centuries from openers Peter Ingram (59) and Jamie How (58) set up the run chase late yesterday.

Brad Patton was the only wicket to fall today for a solid 55 with Tim Weston hitting an unbeaten 41 to reach the target of 226 and seal the win.

The victory sees the Stags move into second spot on the points table on 32 but still 12 points adrift of competition leaders the Northern Knights. They will need complete outright wins in their final two matches and hope that the Knights get rolled twice if they are to lift the trophy.

Day 3: Stags require 54 runs to win with 8 wickets

The Central Stags are set to pick up their third outright win of the season tomorrow with just 54 runs required and eight wickets in hand.

Firebirds in form batsman Luke Woodcock was only able to add three runs to his overnight score to end with 29 but Neal Parlane was able to kick on.

The Wellington opener was his teams highest run scorer with 90 but went unsupported with the rest of the batting line up falling cheaply to be all out for 207.

The same young strike bowlers did the damage in the second innings that did in the first. Doug Bracewell backed up his five wickets earlier in the match with four for 59 today while Adam Milne chimed in with three for 41 after snaring four scalps on day two.

Stags openers Peter Ingram (59) and Jamie How (58) were rock solid and fairly aggressive with both bringing up half centuries to get their team a solid start.

Brad Patton is 28 not out and will resume tomorrow with Tim Weston who is unbeaten on 15.

* Image of Central Stags bowler, Doug Bracewell.

Day 2: Firebirds lead by 96 runs with 7 wickets in hand

The Central Stags couldn’t back up their superb bowling display as they were bundled out for 232, handing the Wellington Firebirds an 18 run first innings advantage.

Yesterday it was the young Central speedsters who starred with the ball and today it was the turn of 20 year old Firebirds quick Malaesaili Tugaga. 

The young left armer took career best figures of five for 77, including the wickets of Jamie How (26), Mathew Sinclair (28), Tim Weston (34), Brendon Diamanti (40) and Bevin Griggs for a duck.

Andrew Lamb and Michael Burns with the other Wellington bowlers to feature on the scorecard with two wickets each.

Wellington’s second innings got off to a horror start with Stephen Murdoch and Cameron Merchant both dismissed without scoring inside five overs. 

Michael Pollard didn’t last much longer, out for nine but Wellington’s best batsmen, Neal Parlane (39*) and Luke Woodcock (26*) have steadied the innings with a 52 run partnership .

Day 1: Stags trail by 225 runs with 10 wickets in hand

The Wellington Firebirds made a scratchy 250 all out with the Central Stags 25 without loss in their Plunket Shield match at McLean Park in Napier.

It was the young Central seamers who ripped through the Wellington batting line up with 19 year old Doug Bracewell snaring five for 47 and 17 year old Adam Milne taking four for 49.

Cameron Merchant was the only top order batsman to fire, hitting 63 with the other three falling to single figure scores.

It was once again left to Firebirds all rounder Luke Woodcock to hold the innings together with a resilient 73 not out but he was unsupported was the teenage speedsters kept taking wickets at the other end.

It is Bracewell’s first five wicket haul in just his tenth First Class match.  Milne debuted earlier in the month and also bagged four wickets in that match.

Captain Jamie How (13*) and Brad Patton (10) safely negotiated seven overs before stumps and will resume tomorrow on 25 without loss.

* Image of Central Stags bowler, Doug Bracewell.

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