WEDNESDAY 29 JANUARY 2020
WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS beat CANTERBURY by six wickets
• Basin Reserve, Wellington
Striking with his third delivery, Neesham removed both batsmen in consecutive overs, then routed the middle order for his career-best return of 5-19 off 10 overs, including two wicket maidens and three maidens in all.
A century stand between first drop Devon Conway (59) and opener Andrew Fletcher (71) ensured the Firebirds stayed on track through the first half of the chase, however, before captain Michael Bracewell took over from Conway.
Sharing an unbroken 82*-stand with Neesham (37* off 32), the cool-headed Bracewell saw his side home with almost two overs to spare with his run-a-ball 81 not out.
The Firebirds now host Canterbury on Saturday at the same ground, while the Stags will host the Aces on Sunday at New Plymouth's Pukekura Park. Northern Districts will head south to meet the Otago Volts at University of Otago Oval, also on Sunday, with the pressure on all sides to secure a top-three placing before time runs out.