George Worker smashed 135 at his home ground | Images: PHOTOSPORT

Raining runs as Stags smash big total


Central Stags v Canterbury

Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North

17 November 2019

Result: match abandoned after rain in second innings


Opening batsman George Worker and first drop Ben Smith each scored centuries as the Central Stags opened their Ford Trophy season in smashing style.

Worker's 135 off 124 balls was the ninth highest ever individual score by a Stag in The Ford Trophy - and the third time the punishing left-hander has appeared on that list.

His second century at his home ground - his maiden having been here in 2011 - came after Canterbury captain Cole McConchie won the toss and sent the Stags in, in windy conditions.

Despite rain earlier in the morning, magically the skies fined up and play started on time - before showers returned just as Canterbury's big chase was about to get going.

Regardless, a healthy Fitzherbert Park crowd were in for a treat, one of Worker's three sixes (along with 14 fours) going over the roof of the stand, which fortuitously took the edge off the ball's force before it tuymbled down onto the head of a surprised cyclist passing by on the street.

Checked over by the Stags team physio, no one was harmed and, after a ball change, the ballistics continued.

Worker batted into the 40th over, having started with a bang by striking three boundaries off Henry Shipley's first over of the morning.

With fellow Manawatu local Dane Cleaver he had pasted on 80 for the first wicket, then combined with Ben Smith in a second-wicket stand worth 145 runs.

Worker's eventual dismissal - falling to a stunning flying catch as Will Williams leapt just inside the boundary rope came before Smith (below) went on to produce his maiden List A century, off just 86 balls at a ground that had been his happy hunting ground in Ford Trophy cricket.

Worker's brutal hundred had flown off 107 balls, and the Cantabrians were left scurrying after runs in the field, with few chances offered.

Even the dismissal of Smith on 100 didn't slow down the hosts, captain Tom Bruce strolling out with the luxury of adding a quick 56 off just 28 balls as the Stags put a massive 349/4 on the scoreboard.

Now, if only the weather would play ball.

The players had no sooner taken the field for the chase than they were off again, before a ball was bowled.

Seth Rance and Ray Toole - one of three debutants in the Stags' attack, alongside left-arm spinner Jayden Lennox and medium pace allrounder Ryan Watson - eventually got through 2.4 overs of play before the rain came back, eventually leading to a washout with no further play, but a day to remember.

With Thanks To

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