Franklin guides Firebirds to victory

Wellington all rounder James Franklin made a composed half century to guide his team to a comfortable six wicket win over the Central Stags at the Basin Reserve.

Chasing the modest total of 217, the home side was off to brisk start with opener Cameron Merchant blasting a run-a-ball 43.

Merchant didn’t slow down despite losing captain Matthew Bell for 22 and Brendon Crook for a duck.

Franklin came to the wicket with the score on 64 and quickly got into his work, hitting an effortless 84 from 103, including eight boundaries and one six.

Earlier, the Stags posted 217 largely thanks to some late hitting from Brendon Diamanti.  He came to the crease at 100 for six and hit his way to 68 from 49 before falling off the penultimate ball. 

He found a willing partner in Kieran Noema-Barnett and the pair shared a 72 run partnership for the eighth wicket, with Noema-Barnett making an invaluable 33.

Jacob Oram was the only top order batsman to make an impression with 27 as the Wellington bowlers dominated.

Strike bowler Andy McKay was the most successful with four for 47 with Stewart Rhodes taking two for 31.

Points table:

Place Team Played Won Lost Points NRR
1 Wellington 2 1 1 4 0.425
2 Auckland 2 1 1 4 0.326
3 Canterbury 2 1 1 4 0.270
4 Central 2 1 1 4 -0.202
5 Northern 2 1 1 4 -0.375
6 Otago 2 1 1 4 -0.422

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