ND secured the second qualifier berth | PHOTOSPORT

ND rebounds to secure home 2v3 Final



28 February 2021
Seddon Park, Hamilton



Ajaz Patel (Central Stags) List A career best batting

With Canterbury now with a healthy points and net run rate lead, former Ford Trophy leaders Northern Districts had effectively missed out on a chance of hosting the Grand Final by the time the final regular season round rolled around - but they still had a big job to do at Seddon Park to ensure they stayed in the frame for the top-three playoffs.

The only side out of contention was the Central Stags, but the Stags had just got up and thumped them here two days earlier. ND needed to bounce back quickly with no psychological baggage - and that's exactly what they did.

Played inside a closed stadium due to Alert Level two, Joe Carter won the toss this time around and elected to bowl on a warm, humid morning, while Central was once again now without swing bowler Seth Rance - so effective opening the attack here in the first game on Friday, but on a managed workload after his calf injury.

With Ben Wheeler also stepping aside prematch with a niggle, a disparate pair of left-armers in Ray Toole and Ajaz Patel came in to the visiting XI, while Zak Gibson joined the ND squad after Brett Randell was sidelined whillst waiting for a COVID test result, bringing Matt Fisher into the XI.

Despite having been sent in, the Stags made a sound start with George Worker and Dane Cleaver putting on a century stand for the first wicket inside the first 20 overs, the pair both reaching half centuries.


Cleaver (57) was run out by Carter shortly afterwards, but Worker looked well set to kick on.

ND began to make headway through a succession of quick wickets, however - Will Young, Ross Taylor, Worker (66), Tom Bruce all gone in the space of five overs, with spinner Joe Walker picking up both Young and Worker off successive overs.


The Stags had thrown away their good start to be 167/5, and had it not been for a brave career best from Ajaz Patel who took two bumps to the helmet en route to his List A career best 45, the total would not have got as far as a defendable 253 before the side was finally dismissed in the last over.

Katene Clarke made a typical fast start for the hosts in reply and was shaping as an early threat to the Stags before Ray Toole had him caught in his third over, after a blistering 19-ball 31.

The youngsters were in charge of opening the attack today for the first time, Toole and Joey Field both rewarded as Field had Jeet Raval caught behind soon after.

But a series of good partnerships methodically took the match away from the Stags, captain Carter (71) and Henry Cooper (51) putting on a century stand for the third wicket before leaving the chase in the experienced hands of BJ Watling (an unbeaten 43*) and Colin de Grandhomme (29 off just 19).

The Stags finished their campaign as they had began, with a loss, while ND locked in the hosting right to the 2020/21 Ford Trophy Elimination Final this Wednesday against the third qualifiers, the Wellington Firebirds.

With Thanks To

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