Firebirds maintain playoff hopes

Firebirds maintain playoff hopes

Devon Hotel Central Stags 200 all out after 47 overs (Kruger van Wyk 70, Kieran Noema-Barnett 52, Brent Arnel 4-26) lost to the Tulsi Wellington Firebirds 202-3 after 40 overs (Michael Papps 83*, Tom Blundell 51, Stephen Murdoch 43) by seven wickets 

The Tulsi Wellington Firebirds kept on track for the Ford Trophy playoffs with a convincing seven wicket triumph over the Devon Hotel Central Stags at the Hawkins Basin Reserve in Wellington. Behind 70 from Kruger van Wyk, the Stags overcame a bad start with the back to post 200, but it wouldn’t be enough, with an unbeaten 81 from Michael Papps leading the Firebirds to victory after 40 overs.

Having been reduced to 91 for five, the Stags were in desperate need of a partnership and found one in the form of Van Wyk and Kieran Noema-Barnett (52). The senior duo put on a much needed 100 for the sixth wicket, before van Wyk succumbed in the 44th over. The Firebirds then quickly ran through the tail, bowling out the Stags after 47 overs. Brent Arnel led the bowling attack, finishing with figures of four 26 from nine overs. 

The Stags needed quick wickets and had early success with the departure of Michael Pollard for four. That however, was as good as it got for them, with Papps, Stephen Murdoch (43) and Tom Blundell (51) all making major contributions en-route to a comfortable Firebirds victory. James Franklin crunched an unbeaten 18 from five balls to end proceedings, while Papps too carried his bat. The Firebirds are now in a tie for third, while the Stags remain in fifth. 

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