First century for debutant Bayley Wiggins | PHOTOSPORT

Century on debut for Central's Bayley Wiggins

Video Highlights

2021/22 • ROUND ONE •


Hagley Oval, Christchurch 23-26 October 2021

Toss: Central Stags who batted



TOTAL POINTS this round:

Canterbury 5

Central Stags 8


Bayley Wiggins first-class debut (Central Stags), century on debut

Tom Bruce 50th first-class game for Central Stags

Blair Tickner career best first-class batting (previously 33)

Blair Tickner 150th first-class wicket, 4th first-class 5-wicket bag

Jayden Lennox career-best bowling and batting

Greg Hay 14th first-class century

Tom Latham 21st first-class century (sixth for Canterbury)


Tom Latham saved the day for his side in the season opener | MBUTCHER

Canterbury and the Central Stags remained locked in battle throughout the final day of the first round until bad light finally brought down the curtain on a weather-disrupted third session at Hagley Oval.

The Stags had had the better of the match against the defending champions, and had been on course to take top spot on the table after Round One with a full 20 points - if they could only take Canterbury's last five wickets in the session, on a flat featherbed of a pitch.

However, BLACKCAP Tom Latham's 21st first-class century (sixth for Canterbury) earlier in the afternoon had made the Stags' task more complicated. Just two wickets had fallen in the opening session, and Latham carried on after lunch to reach 104 after almost four hours at the crease.

Earlier, young left-arm paceman Ray Toole had picked up Henry Nicholls (44) for the second time in the match after the BLACKCAPS duo had put on 90 for the first wicket.


Latham lost another pair of partners in the middle session in Cole McConchie and Leo Carter, before he became the third to fall before tea - and, ultimately, the last in the match. Drizzle drifted in at the break and led to a lengthy wait for the Stags to get back on the park, and when they did, the full slips cordon and ring fields left Canterbury little room to manouevre.

But they had long since shut up shop, having needed to chase down 450 runs in their last innings, a feat Canterbury had only once before achieved in over 150 years.

Latham's resilience had blunted the Stags' antlers, and Canterbury would settle for five points by the time bad light ended a long afternoon.

Canterbury now heads to the cauldron of the Cello Basin Reserve to meet early leaders the Firebirds, while the Central Stags head south to Dunedin to fight again from Sunday.


The Stags went to tea in a powerful position | MBUTCHER

The Central Stags are on top against defending Plunket Shield champion Canterbury after a potent batting display on Day 3 at Hagley Oval. However, they will nevertheless be eager to break a 61-run opening stand by BLACKCAPS duo Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls in the morning, as a sun-soaked pitch continues to flatten out.

Declaring at 321/6, the Stags set their hosts a target of 450 with just over three sessions left in the game - meaning Canterbury will require their second highest fourth innings total in history if they are to take the spoils tomorrow.

Captain Greg Hay led the way, anchoring with his 14th first-class century (101 in 5.3 hours); sharing in four consecutive partnerships of 50 or more runs along the way; and chalking up his 6000th first-class run for good measure.

A field day for centurion captain Greg Hay | MBUTCHER

Nightwatchman Jayden Lennox had kicked off a solid day for the visitors by racing to his career-best 43 (to accompany career-best bowling, earlier in the match) as the unlikely pair put on 75 for the second wicket.

The rock Hay would still be there at tea time, having just raised his bat in an innings that had gained in momentum and adventure as he eyed the declaration.

Dane Cleaver advances for a six into the stand | MBUTCHER

The Stags took their score from 16/1 at the start of the day to 258/4 by the break after a particularly belligerent middle session. Dane Cleaver (48 off 56) was unlucky to miss out on a half century in his quick 74-run stand with Hay for the fourth wicket before Tom Bruce pelted his way to a bright unbeaten 55* off just 46 balls to celebrate his 50th first-class appearance for his team.

A breezy half ton for Tom Bruce | MBUTCHER

Canterbury was given little option other than toiling away in the dirt for infrequent breakthroughs. Spinner Theo van Woerkom finally got Hay stumped, but only after the gritty opener threw caution to the wind and advanced down the wicket at 269/5.

Hay declared with 21 overs left in the day for a crack at the Canterbury top order, but Latham (30*) and Nicholls (28*) were largely untroubled as they saw their side safely to stumps at 61 without loss - Nicholls surviving his only unsettling moment against legspinner Brad Schmulian on the penultimate ball of the day.

Regular Canterbury opening batsman Chad Bowes is understood to be able to bat if required tomorrow, despite having left the ground for stitches to his face earlier in the last session.


Blair Tickner kept statisticians busy on Labour Weekend Sunday with his career-best first-class innings with the bat; his 150th first-class dismissal; and his second consecutive five-wicket bag - all on the same day against Canterbury as the Central Stags took a useful first innings lead against the defending champions at Hagley Oval.

By stumps, the Stags led by 144 overall, set to resume at 16/1 in the morning with nightwatchman Jayden Lennox accompanying captain Greg Hay (3*).

Lennox had earlier turned in his own career-best performance with the ball in his young career, the left-arm spinner claiming 3-38 alongside white-ball BLACKCAP Tickner's 5-64 as the Stags restricted Canterbury to 241, in reply to the Stags' 369 all out in the first session.

Lennox had showed how it was done in the field as well, pulling off a spectacular airborne, juggled catch as he stopped the ball from flying over the boundary - ensuring Tickner dismissed opener Chad Bowes on 44 for his 150 wickets milestone.

It was a game-changer of a moment, but a rash of dropped catches throughout the afternoon saw most of Canterbury's key contributors given early let-offs by Central.

Nevertheless, Canterbury was three down before lunch, both Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls back in the pavilion.

At 129/5 early in the middle session, they urgently needed a big partnership to aid digestion - and prodigious keeper-batsman Cam Fletcher and Theo van Woerkom looked on to deliver.

Keeping his composure, experienced Fletcher (50) top-scored, reaching his half century off 96 balls as the pair built a steady 51-run stand for the sixth wicket, in pleasant enough batting conditions.

However, Lennox lured Fletcher into offering a catch to Bayley Wiggins at 180/6 and, despite positivity from Matt Henry and van Woerkom's dogged 36, again in support, once that seventh-wicket partnership was broken by Tickner, the tail quickly unravelled.

Tickner pocketed his five-for with the final wicket, backing up his performance against the same side at Napier's McLean Park in the last round last season.

Henry made a quick breakthrough in reply with Ben Smith caught at 13/1 for his fifth wicket of the match, having finished with 4-82 in the first innings.


In 71 seasons, there have been only four Central Stags to score a century on first-class debut. Today, 23-year-old Bayley Wiggins became one of them.

Wiggins galloped to 133 off 138 balls, with 16 boundaries and three sixes - and with the number "204" ringing in his ears. That is one better than the score his Stags and Hawke's Bay teammate Brad Schmulian made on first-class debut at Bay Oval on 25 October 2017, the New Zealand Domestic record for first-class cricket debutants.

Just hours earlier it had been Schmulian who presented Wiggins with his first-class baggy green Stags cap, and it was Schmulian who laid down the verbal challenge.

"At the tea break, Schmoo looked at me and smiled and just said, '204'", said Wiggins.

"I was eager to get that, but I'm pretty happy with what I got. Just playing was a dream for me, to be honest."

His captain Greg Hay had bucked early season tradition by electing to bat against the defending Plunket Shield champions Canterbury on day one of the season, a strong breeze whipping across Hagley Oval and a warm sun bringing the prospect of the pitch drying out later in the game.

But it quickly went pear-shaped for the visitors' top order who were 0/2 after the loss of both openers, including Hay

By the time Wiggins stepped into the arena for the first time, allrounder Doug Bracewell had just departed at 101/5 to Will Williams in the 34th over, with BLACKCAP Matt Henry (above, PHOTOSPORT) sitting on three wickets and eager to nab a bag. Wiggins waited on the next four balls against Williams before he got off the mark off the last ball of the over with an attractive cover drive to the fence.

So began an afternoon of adventure, his sweet timing bearing witness to his more usual role as an aggressive opening batsman for both the Stags and Hawke Cup holders Hawke's Bay.

When Wiggins made his one-day Ford Trophy debut two seasons ago, he scored 98, 3 and 103 in his first three innings."Completely different format though," noted Wiggins. "Today I was nervous to begin with, but I kept my process and thoughts simple. I wanted to be positive, play my natural game and just react, not search fot it.

At the other end, first the incumbent Dane Cleaver (44) and then Ben Wheeler were suggesting he perhaps calm down a bit, as the shots kept coming out. At five down in the 34th over, there were still many overs left to get through in the day.

After Williams trapped Cleaver at 128/6, the innings was in the balance, with Wheeler playing his first match for the Stags in more than a year, having missed last summer with injury.

Yet the pair piled on a seventh-record stand of 183 (just 36 shy of Stags records that had stood since the 1960s), with Wheeler reaching his 5th first-class half century for the team while Wiggins cracked away to keep scoring at a run-a-ball tempo.

He managed to survive rolling his ankle whilst running between the wickets in the 90s, before blasting his third six to bring up a remarkable century.

"Wheels looked at me and started cracking up. The over before, he'd just reminded me to chill out, relax. In my mind, if [spinner Cole McConchie] tossed it up, I was not going to react, I was just going to let it be. But I just reacted and hit it back over his head."

The pair had taken the Stags from 128/6 to 311/7 and despite Canterbury striking back late in the third session, they did enough to inspire their tailenders to provide some adventure of their own.

Blair Tickner was unbeaten on 26* overnight: his equal highest first-class score for Central taking the team to 355/9 at stumps.

A potential retaliation by the strong Canterbury top order can not be discounted tomorrow, but despite the Canterbury pace attack's brilliant start with the ball, it was the fresh-look and injury-depleted visitors who dominated the defending champions on Day One.


  • Don Macleod 117 v Wellington at Cook's Gardens (Whanganui), December 1956
  • Henry Sampson 119 v Wellington at the Basin Reserve, December 1970 (2nd innings)
  • Brad Schmulian 204 v Northern Districts at Bay Oval, October 2017
  • Bayley Wiggins 133 v Canterbury at Hagley Oval, October 2021






Asahi CCC Dream11 Dulux Ford Gillette GJ Gardner KFC Life Direct Pals Powerade Spark Spark