Wellington v Canterbury, Wellington, 4th day March 7, 2004

Draw gives Wellington the State Championship title

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Wellington 301 and 182 for 6 (Bell 57) drew with Canterbury 192 and 335 for 8 dec (Papps 91, Cunis 64*, Fulton 58)

Wellington had some nervous moments as Canterbury threw everything at them, but the composure that has marked their season carried them to their 20th championship title at the Basin Reserve.

Canterbury hit out during the first hour to set Wellington a generous target of only 227 over the remainder of the day. Stephen Cunis was 64 not out and Chris Harris was unbeaten on 38, while James Franklin ended with 4 for 75 for Wellington.

Warren Wisneski then claimed the key wickets of Richard Jones and Grant Donaldson in quick succession to have Wellington reeling at 23 for 2. Matthew Bell held firm with a patient 57, scored from 173 balls. Cunis gave Canterbury more hope when he nailed the Parlane brothers, Neal and Michael, with successive deliveries. Bell went soon after, caught off Peter Fulton's foot by Brendon McCullum off Harris.

It seemed the balance had tipped in Canterbury's favour. However, Chris Nevin and Matthew Walker have had several fighting partnerships this summer, and the occasion of the final proved the inspiration for another. Despite everything Canterbury could muster, including the second new ball, the pair survived 144 minutes, with Nevin on 43 and Walker on 29.