CENTRAL STAGS beat NORTHERN DISTRICTS by six wickets
26 February 2021
Seddon Park, Hamilton
• Josh Clarkson career best bowling 3-30
Out but not down, the Central Stags bounced back from a lacklustre weekend in Auckland to sweep aside the hitherto joint Ford Trophy leaders with more than 15 overs to spare.
Visiting captain Tom Bruce had no hesitation in bowling first after winning the toss at Seddon, where the king of swing Seth Rance was back after a lengthy absence with a calf injury.
Rance relished the humid conditions, immediately getting the ball to hoop around and keeping ND's top order on its toes as his opening five-over spell went for just 10 runs, and brought the wicket of Katene Clarke.
Ben Wheeler (2-34) had earlier struck with just the second ball of the match as Jeet Raval prodded a simple catch to Will Young, and both opening bowlers finished with an economical brace - Rance with 2-26 off his nine.
But it was allrounder Josh Clarkson, at sixth change, who reaped the rewards with a string of wickets in three consecutive overs to net a List A career-best 3-30, then backing it up in the match-winning stand with Ross Taylor.
Needing to defend 194 after they had been bowled out in the 49th, ND had made a brilliant start of their own with George Worker departing for a diamond duck, trapped by Scott Kuggeleijn.
Dane Cleaver, Will Young and Tom Bruce got starts to take the Stags to 107 for four, but it was a sensibly paced partnership between Ross Taylor (68* off 72 balls) and Clarkson (55* off 42) that ensured the Stags stayed out of trouble in the straightforward chase.
R O S S T A Y L O R— Central Stags 🏏 (@CentralStags) February 26, 2021
52* off 59 balls here at Seddon Park, 13th List A half ton for the Stags ... brought up with a 💣👌https://t.co/qFot3rpMEn
🟩🟩🟩 #CRICKETNATION pic.twitter.com/Y17NFLl38H
Taylor blasted his half ton onto the scoreboard with one of his three sixes and Clarkson reached his 40-ball milestone with a boundary, which was how he also finished the match with an ocean of time to spare - the Stags picking up a bonus point for their trouble.