Nicol takes Auckland into summit clash
Auckland 50 for 2 in 9.3 overs (Nicol 27, Astle 2-9) beat Canterbury 113 (Fletcher 33, Henry 23, Grobbelaar 3-23) by 2 runs (D/L method)
A combined bowling effort ensured Auckland beat Canterbury by two runs in a rain-affected fixture in New Plymouth to set up clash against Otago in the final of the Georgie Pie Super Smash 2015-16.
Canterbury, who were sent in to bat, were bowled out for 113 in 19.3 overs, with Cam Fletcher's 33 being the highest score. That the 24-run stand for the second wicket was the highest of the innings indicated their struggle. Matt Henry's 10-ball 23 at the end helped them get past the 100-run mark. Donovan Grobbelaar, the left-arm seamer, was the most successful bowler, returning 3 for 23, while Tarun Nethula, Rob Nicol and James Fuller picked up two wickets apiece.
Auckland started briskly courtesy Nicol, who hit two fours and a six in his unbeaten 27. Nicol and his opening partner Jeet Raval added 41 at a run-a-ball to wipe out a good chunk of the target. Todd Astle, the legspinner, then hit back with two strikes to give Canterbury hope. But rain thwarted their designs as Auckland were found to be two runs ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis method when rain forced an end to proceedings with 10.3 overs still to be played.
The final on Sunday will also be played at the Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth.