The Basin Reserve’s weather didn’t play ball when the Central Stags came to the capital looking to resurrect their 2017 Ford Trophy campaign at the last minute.
How it happened
• Central Stags captain Will Young won the toss and batted first on a greenish but used deck, in blustery conditions, with a stiff northerly belting down the wicket block.
• The bottom-placed defending champions had welcomed back front-line bowlers Seth Rance and Ben Wheeler from injury to spearhead their attack and reinforce the late order, while the Wellington Firebirds had brought in Fraser Colson on List A debut for Stephen Murdoch.
• The match was the only one of round five to start on time, and yet would also be the only one not go the distance.
• Jesse Ryder and George Worker put on 29 before Ryder was undone by Hamish Bennett, but Worker and Young charged on — putting on exactly 100 together for the second wicket before Young was caught off Luke Woodcock, just six runs short of a half century.
• Worker had already taken on the Firebirds’ spin attack, pelting a six back over Jeetan Patel's head as he continued his solid season with a half century in 68 balls, now the season's second highest run-scorer after the Aces' Sean Solia.
• Young fell shortly afterwards just after the century stand had come up off 109 balls, but Worker was going strong and was unbeaten on 80 (10 boundaries, one six) when lingering, misty rain closed in around the ground, bringing with it an early lunch and eventually seeing the match abandoned, the outfield failing to dry off in the light but persistent drizzle.
• The result left the frustrated Stags bottom of the table, with two rounds left to play at their Taranaki home ground Pukekura Park — mathematically still able to make the playoffs if luck and weather comes to the table, but needing two wins and at least one bonus point, plus other results to fall their way.
• The washout was meanwhile enough to push the Firebirds to the top of the table, after other round six results went their way. They will be back at the Basin in round seven on Saturday to host the Otago Volts, the latter coming off a critical win in Invercargill over the Aces.