Draw hands Wizards the shield

Draw hands Wizards the shield

Day four: Canterbury Wizards 193-3 (George Worker 52*, Dean Brownlie 60, Henry Nicholls 40) and 346 drew with Devon Hotel Central Stags 483-8 declared.  

When this match ended in a draw, the Wizards weren't expecting the result would hand them the title. They had batted out the day after an overnight declaration from the Central Stags, with George Worker (52*) and Dean Brownlie (60) both making half-centuries and Henry Nicholls making 40 before being caught by Jamie How from Tarun Nethula's bowling. 

When the Otago Volts v Auckland Aces match ended at 6.30pm in a draw, along with the rained-out-final-day-draw between the SKYCITY Northern Knights and Wellington Firebirds in Whangarei, the 2013-14 Plunket Shield was handed to the Canterbury Wizards with one round remaining, reflecting their dominance of the season, where they recorded four outright wins.  

The Wizards will play the Devon Hotel Central Stags in Napier in the last round starting 23 February 2014. 

Day three: Canterbury Wizards 346 (Henry Nicholls 76, Rob Nicol 76, Seth Rance 6-38) and 40-1 (Dean Brownlie 20*) trail Central Stags 483-8 (Greg Hay 202*, Roald Bandenhorst 71, Andrew Ellis 3-60) by 97 runs

The Canterbury Wizards trail the Central Stags by 97 runs at stumps on day three of their Plunket Shield match at Rangiora, having given up a 137 run first innings lead. 

Greg Hay (202*) was responsible for putting the visitors in such a dominant position, having scored his maiden double century to allow the Stags to declare at 483 for eight. 

It was an incredible effort from the number five, who took the side from what looked like a certain deficit, to giving them control.

He received ample support from the lower-order, with Roald Badenhorst (71) and Kruger van Wyk (58) his two main allies. The 29 year-old grafter hard throughout his innings, but after 412 balls and 527 minutes at the crease was finally rewarded with a double ton. 

Following the milestone, the Stags declared with 13 overs left in the day. 

They had early success with the wicket of Steve Keen (8), but the pair of George Worker (10*) and Dean Brownlie (20*) saw out the rest of the day to finish 40 for one. 

They’ll have a task on their hands to hang on and bat through day four for a draw. 

Day two: Canterbury Wizards 346 (Henry Nicholls 76, Rob Nicol 76, Brad Cachopa 61, Andrew Ellis 69, Seth Rance 6-38) lead Central Stags 217-5 (Greg Hay 71*, Will Young 46, Andrew Ellis 3-38) by 129 runs

Neither side has a clear advantage heading into day three of the Plunket Shield match between the Canterbury Wizards and Central Stags at MainPower Oval in Rangiora. 

Thanks a strong showing from the middle-order, the Wizards posted 346 in their first innings. Seth Rance starred with the ball for the Stags, picking up his maiden First Class five wicket bag with figures of six for 86. 

At 151 for five the Stags response hadn’t looked in great shape, but an unbeaten 71 from Greg Hay brought them back to 217 for five at stumps on day two. 

Nearly all of the Stags top-order made starts, though initially no one was able to push on and form a valuable partnership. That changed though when Hay came to the wicket, who played sensibly though the rest of the day and will return to the crease alongside Kruger van Wyk (30) tomorrow. 

Andrew Ellis has led with the ball so far, currently having figures of three for 38. 

Yesterday he had helped dig his side out of trouble and put on a total in excess of 300. 

Henry Nicholls (76), Rob Nicol (76), Brad Cachopa (61) and Andrew Ellis (69) brought their side back from being 11 for three and in danger of a full collapse. Together they took their side to a healthy total, though triple figures avoided all of them. 

The most notable performance of the innings though undoubtedly went to Rance, who took career best figures in helping dismantle the Wizards batting line-up. 

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