Henry Shipley was outstanding on day one | All images PHOTOSPORT

Canterbury on a roll at the Basin

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ROUND THREE

WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS lost to CANTERBURY by 314 runs

Cello Basin Reserve, Wellington

7-10 November 2021

SCORES

Toss: Canterbury who bowled

Total points this round

Canterbury 16

Wellington Firebirds 4

SELECTED MILESTONES

Callum McLachlan - first-class debut (Wellington Firebirds)

Callum McLachlan - five dismissals in an innings, nine dismissals in a match

Ken McClure - sixth first-class century (all for Canterbury)

Will Williams: 100 first-class wickets when he dismissed Luke Georgeson in the second innings

Canterbury's fifth highest winning margin in first-class cricket

 

DAY THREE

By lunch on the third afternoon, Canterbury was in a strong position to dictate terms, holding a 377-run overall lead.

The visitors lost four wickets in the morning session as the Firebirds deperately sought to contain them. However, the usual suspect - number six, Cam Fletcher - was ensuring the back end of the innings cut the mustard as he went to lunch, unbeaten on 58* with Canterbury cruisng at 355/8.

Earlier, the batsman with whom he had set out that morning, Leo Carter, had also reached his half century - before young keeper Callum McLachlan continued his prolific debut behind the wickets.

Having already taken five catches and assisted with a runout in the first innings, the debutant pouched the catch to dismiss Carter on 56, off Nathan Smith.

McLachlan then wrapped his gloves around catches offered by Henry Shipley and Matt Henry , both off Ben Sears, to take him to eight dismissals for the match on debut by lunch.

In the long history of Wellington cricket, a wicketkeeper has taken more dismissals than that on only five occasions, with the record standing at 10.

Once play resumed, McLachlan got his ninth as he stumped Fraser Sheat off Michael Bracewell. One more wicket remained and if it went behind the stumps, then McLachlan would join Tom Blundell (2017/18) and Chris Nevin (1995/96) as the only other Firebirds keepers to effect 10 dismissals in a game.

But just four balls later, Bracewell struck again - bowling new man Ed Nuttall, leaving McLachlan to join the other three Wellingtonians to have made nine dismissals in a game: Bert Vance, Erv McSweeney and Luke Ronchi. Good company. And, a new record by a New Zealand first-class keeper on debut.

Fletcher was left unbeaten on 78*, Canterbury all out for 407 meaning the Firebirds would yet again face a monumental fourth innings task with 430 needed to win, and a man down with a broken mitt.

Matt Henry quickly picked off their top scorer from the first dig, Jakob Bhula an early exit at 4/1. By tea, the Firebirds were three down - having just lost first drop Nick Greenwood cheaply. Captain Bracewell headed off knowing a further 391 was a tall ask.

Nuttall had made the strike before tea, and the left-arm quick struck again almost immediately after: Bracewell gone for no further addition to his score of 8.

Canterbury was on its way to a massive outright victory, with a day to spare. Finn Allen's 38 in a 51-stand with Jamie Gibson was the only spot of resistance before Will Williams trapped him plumb for his 101st first-class wicket.

Henry went on to a haul of 4-37 before Williams (3-31) wrapped it up with the last wicket at 115/9 for a whopping 314-run victory.

The second outright on the bounce gives Canterbury a strong head start on the Plunket Shield points table. It was their fifth highest ever winning margin in first-class cricket, and their highest in history at the Basin. Quite the statement from the defending champions.

DAY TWO

The second innings was already underway by lunchtime on just the second day of action, Canterbury holding an interim 80-run overall lead.

The visitors had effectively dismissed the Firebirds earlier in the morning. Tailender Ollie Newton had retired not out after a factured hand during the previous afternoon, unable to continue his part in the match with bat or ball.

The hosts' account therefore closed at 134/9, 32 runs having been added in the morning before quick Ed Nuttall wrapped it up - finishing with 3-21 off his 9.1 overs while Henry Shipley (3-19) and Matt Henry (3-53) walked off with three-fors as well.

By tea, Canterbury had marched into in a useful position, holding a 170-run lead and still seven wickets intact at 148/3.

Ken McClure had worked his way to an unbeaten 84* against the depleted home attack and it was looking  like moving day had arrived a day early as he delivered an innings of high class.

McClure soon settled in again in the last session, easing into the 90s with a boundary off Jamie Gibson.

But he showed patience during a protracted period on 98* before finally launching into a hook off Nathan Smith that found the fence and brought up his sixth first-class century, the overall lead now almost 200.

McClure would finally depart on 130 when he was yorked by Sears; leaving Cam Fletcher to join Leo Carter in the middle and poised to take the team forward to a 250-lead and beyond.

By stumps Canterbury had got to 247/4, the lead sitting at 269 heading into Day Three with Carter just a boundary away from a half century.

DAY ONE

The pace was frantic as 18 wickets tumbled on day one in this repeat top-of-the-table clash in the capital.

After having won the toss this time, the Firebirds dismissed Canterbury - now without the key services of BLACKCAPS Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls - for just 181 in the middle session.

A Chad Bowes (59) half century at the top had in fact steered them to a good position of 86/0 before the clatter of wickets began - a simply disastrous mix-up between the wickets costing Bowes his wicket and putting the side on the skids from there.

It was a busy and nifty debut for debutant wicketkeeper Callum McLachlan who took five catches behind the stumps in the innings as well as assisting in a runout.

However, in this fast-paced opening day the Firebirds were soon on the back foot themselves as Ed Nuttall and Matt Henry combined to have the hosts in early strife at 33/3 in reply.

Young Firebirds opening batsman Jakob Bhula made a start on a repair job, but was the fourth man to return to the pavilion at 60/4 and would end the day still holding the team's top score of 29 on the scorecard.

So it was alas for all, the wickets shared in each innings with Ben Sears (3-40, above), Michael Snedden (3-28) and Nathan Smith (2-22) doing the damage for Wellington and Henry (3-47), Nuttall (2-19) and a standout Henry Shipley (3-7 off just five overs, including two maidens) looking to add to their haul on the second morning.

Twenty-two-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Callum McLachlan made his first-class debut, for the Wellington Firebirds.

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