Nicol stars with bat and ball

Rob Nicol played a starring role as Canterbury Wizards consolidated their position at the top of the Men's One-Day championship after beating Central Stags by 56 runs at New Plymouth today.

With one round to go before the playoffs, Canterbury have 21 points and look likely to host the preliminary final between the top two teams on February 6.

Nicol, 28, notched the third one-day century of his career with today's 105 and then took four Central Districts wickets with his off-spin.

He reached his 50 with just 47 balls and reached his century after facing another 68 deliveries, hitting 11 boundaries and a six along the way.

The biggest partnership of the inning came when Dean Brownlie joined Nicol at the crease and the pair posted 101 runs for the third wicket.

Nicol was next to go seven runs later but test wicketkeeper Reece Young hit a breezy 44 of 33 balls as the tail wagged with a major contribution of 25 off just 10 balls by Carl Frauenstein to help Canterbury to a daunting 295 for seven.

Central Districts who now find themselves bottom of the table after Wellington beat Northern Districts by 52 runs at the Basin Reserve today, started well in their reply.

But once George Worker, 54, was winkled out by Nicol, their innings fell apart though Mathew Sinclair produced a fighting 57 in a bid to hold the innings together.

Nicol struck three more times to return figures of four for 51 while Andy Ellis chimed in with three for 30.

Kieran Noema produced a bold 40 off 34 balls as he put on 56 runs with Sinclair for the sixth wicket but Ellis and Nicol quickly wrapped up the tail.


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