Van Wyk steers Central home

Kruger van Wyk settled his teammates’ nerves to steer Central Districts to a five-wicket Plunket Shield win over Otago in Queenstown.

The Stags were no sure thing at 55 for four in pursuit of a modest 199 at the Events Centre before the combative wicketkeeper produced precisely the type of innings they required to win the sixth round match.

Coming off an unbeaten 72 in the first innings, van Wyk again came to the party with an unbeaten 74 in 165 minutes with nine boundaries to see them home before tea, in the process lifting his season’s shield aggregate to 638 runs at an average of 91.14.

After being dismissed for just 115 in their second innings after tea on the third day, Otago fought gamely with the ball today when the Stags returned to the middle at seven for one.

Jamie How, who made seven, and Ben Smith, run out for 16, were removed at a cheap cost and when Mathew Sinclair followed for 26 the visitors had every excuse to be anxious before Kieran Noema-Barnett made 21 to put on 66 for the fifth wicket with van Wyk.

The outcome still hung in the balance at this stage but van Wyk then found timely support from Carl Cachopa, who made 40 not out in 1-1/2 hours, as the pair produced an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 78.

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