Adam Milne was on fire | PHOTOSPORT

Firebirds firepower scorches Canterbury

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Bonus point win

Cello Basin Reserve, Wellington

Wellington Firebirds 5 points


 Muhammad Abbas - List A debut


Zak Foulkes | All images PHOTOSPORT

A Ford Trophy bonus-point win was just what the doctor ordered for the Firebirds after having been becalmed by a Palmerston North washout in the previous round.

With young batter Muhammad Abbas on List A debut for the team after his 10 first-class appearances for Wellington and New Zealand A, the hosts were put in by Canterbury captain Cole McConchie - whose side was coming under pressure to kickstart their campaign again.

Gus McKenzie had the first breakthrough in the 10th over at 40/1 but Firebirds opener Nick Greenwood went on to a half century at the top, batting through the first 29 overs.

Greenwood reached 64 - his first half century for the Firebirds, and seventh of his overall List A career, the 24-year-old having played a lot of cricket for Jersey.

He'd built a 79-run third-wicket stand with Troy Johnson that provided a valuable platform at the Basin before big young paceman Will O'Rourke, who had been named in the BLACKCAPS ODI squad for the first time that morning, began chalking up wickets.

He got Johnson to chop on, on 30, and his bounce had Greenwood caught four balls later at 120/3.

O'Rourke's following over accounted for Firebirds skipper Nick Kelly who was caught down the leg side by a clever piece of bowling and sharp snaffle from keeper Mitch Hay.

Debutant Abbas and Callum McLachlan had to rebuild all of sudden, with a 47-run stand for the fifth. Michael Rae removed both of them in the 39th over but the Firebirds' tail wagged as the hosts got through to 247/8, Adam Milne and Logan van Beek provising valuable late runs.

Milne would play a big role in keeping the Cantabrians in check as they went after the chase, after van Beek had run a mile for make the initial breakthrough, Matt Boyle top-edging a return catch.

First drop Rhys Mariu ran himself out in calamitous fashion, then Milne blasted through the middle order.

Chad Bowes (47) had been a big loss at 76/3 and by 115/6 approaching the 30-over mark, Canterbury was fighting for survival.

Nathan Smith (3/32) and Milne had other plans, the quick finishing off the innings with six overs to spare, Canterbury bowled out for 192 and the Firebirds taking the bonus point for their trouble.






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