Napier’s Heroics get Central home

Graeme Napier bashed 73 from just 27 balls to hand the Central Stags an unlikely win over the Northern Knights at Park, Palmerston North.

Northern looked to be comfortably defending their 300 run total with Central on 219 for seven but the English import turned on a remarkable display of power hitting to get them home by three wickets with over two overs to spare.

Peter Ingram got the Stags off to a steady start with 59 at the top of the order with Kieran Noema-Barnett blasting 45 from 31 in the middle overs to get the run rate moving.

A middle order collapse made victory seem unlikely before Napier joined George Worker in the 42nd to share a match winning 87 run partnership – 73 of which belonged to Napier. 

Earlier, the Northern Knights won the toss and elected to bat with nineteen year old Kane Williamson starring with an unbeaten 107 off 106 balls.

It was Williamson’s second one-day century and highest score.

Anton Devcich carved 54 at the top of the order with Peter McGlashan the other batsman to feature with a brisk 53 off 41.

Central strike bowler Ewen Thompson was accurate and economical, returning figures of two for 30.

The win moves Central up into third placed on the points table with Northern just behind in fourth.

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