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Ryder guides Firebirds over Stags - again

Published: 9:40PM Wednesday December 26, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

Wellington Firebirds flexed their batting muscles at the Basin Reserve to win an entertaining HRV Cup encounter with Central Stags by 53 runs in a rain-shortened affair.

Reduced to 18 overs each, the home side rattled on 213-5 and always had the Stags on the back foot during their chase, eventually restricting them to 160-5 at the end.

Wellington openers Tamim Iqbal and Jesse Ryder had their side off to a terrific start, putting on 39 quick runs for the first wicket, before Iqbal was caught by Jaime How off Marty Kain's bowling in the fourth over.

Ryder scored at better than two runs a ball and was eventually the third man out for 47 off 22 balls, including five sixes.

Down the order, Englishman Chris Woakes (55 off 28) and skipper Grant Elliott (35 off 18) kept the momentum going. Trego was the best of the Central bowlers with 2-33.

It was the second time Wellington had posted a 200-plus score against Central in T20 play this month - they had 214-5 on December 7 to win by 55 runs, with Ryder dispensing 75 runs off 26 balls.

This time, the Stags tried to stay with the required run rate, and opener Matthew Sinclair rolled back the clock with 71 runs off 43 balls.

But just when they needed a couple of big overs to get back in the contest, captain Kieran Noema-Barnett and keeper Kruger van Wijk fell in consecutive balls to Luke Woodcock, and the innings stopped in its tracks.

Woodcock and spinner Mark Houghton had two wickets each, but in the context of the game, Elliott's two overs for just eight runs were also crucial.

Wellington Firebirds v Central Stags

Wellington Firebirds

Iqbal c How b Kain 35

Ryder b Trego 47

Papps b Trego 14

Ronchi c Young b Nethula 19

Woakes not out 55

Elliott b Milne 35

Kuggeleijn not out 1

Extras (b 1, wd 4, nb 2) 7

Total (for five wickets) 213

Bowling: Jarvis 4-0-36-0 , Trego 3.5-0-33-2, Kain 3-0-42-1, Nethula 4-0-49-1, Milne 3-0-52-1, Noema-Barnett 0.1-0-0-0

Central Stags

How lbw b Hutchinson 14

Sinclair st Ronchi b Houghton 71

Young c Kuggeleijn b Houghton 20

Noema-Barnett c Houghton b Woodcock 33

Cachopa not out 6

van Wyk b Woodcock 0

Kain not out 6

Extras 10

Total (for five wickets) 160

Bowling: Woakes 4-0-36-0, Kuggeleijn 3-0-28-0, Hutchinson 3-0-23-1, Houghton 4-0-34-2, Woodcock 2-0-24-2, Elliott 2-0-8-0

Meanwhile, Scott Styris returned from a stint in Australia's Big Bash to guide Northern Districts home over defending champions Auckland in HRV Cup play today.

In an encounter severely affected by rain, the Knights gathered 142-4 in 12 overs, with Styris clobbering an unbeaten 68 off just 26 balls, including eight sixes.

Kyle Mills was the pick of the Auckland bowlers with 2-17 from three overs, while skipper Gareth Hopkins had three catches with the gloves.

The wet conditions reduced the Aces to just six overs at the crease, chasing 73 runs, but they never got out of first gear. Brent Arnel had the crucial wicket of Lou Vincent in the first over with just three runs on the board and the home team eventually fell 24 runs short for the loss of six wickets.

Hopkins was the best of the Auckland batsmen with 18 not out over 10 balls, while Bradley Scott had two wickets for Northern in the final over.

Auckland Aces v Northern Knights

Northern Knights

Devcich c Singh b Grobbelaar 28

Wilson c Hopkins b Mills 5

Croft c Hopkins b Mills 3

Styris not out 68

Foster c Hopkins b Adams 13

Marshall not out 15

Extras 10

Total (for four wickets) 142

Bowling: Mills 3-0-17-2, Quinn 2-0-16-0, Grobbelaar 2-0-20-1, de Grandhomme 2-0-34-0, Adams 3-0-55-1

Auckland Aces

Vincent c Mitchell b Arnel 1

Mustard c Marshall b Styris 14

de Grandhomme c Mitchell b Devcich 7

Hopkins not out 18

Kitchen b Scott 3

Cachopa c Styris b Scott 2

Grobbelaar run out (Foster) 0

Mills not out 2

Extras 2

Total (for six wickets) 49

Bowling: Arnel 2-0-21-1, Verma 1-0-6-0, Styris 1-0-10-1, Devcich 1-0-8-1, Scott 1-0-4-2