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April 5, 2014
Wellington 233 for 6 (Franklin 75, Ronchi 41*) beat Northern Districts 232 for 9 (Wilson 68, Watling 50, Arnel 3-30) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Guided by a well-compiled 75 from James Franklin and an aggressive 41 from Luke Ronchi, Wellington edged out Northern Districts by four wickets in a tense game to win the Ford Trophy, their first domestic title in a decade and their first List A title in 12 years.
Two of Wellington's top three could not convert their starts in the 233-run chase but Michael Pollard was effective upfront with a 79-ball 43 that steadied the side. He was unable to push on, and two additional wickets contributed to the asking rate creeping to past seven by the 42nd over. Franklin and Ronchi eased the chase into the final overs and smashed 17 runs off Trent Boult in the 46th to tilt the balance in their favour. But two overs later - with 17 required off 15 - Franklin picked out the fielder at long-off, allowing Northern Districts a toe-hold into the game.
Ronchi, however, ensured Wellington's wait for silverware would not extend to another year, smashing two consecutive fours to the backward square region to take his side home with four balls to spare.
Northern Districts would have also rued the fact that they failed to build on a 104-run stand between Brad Wilson and BJ Watling, which had helped them recover from 29 for 2. The pair made fifties with Wilson hitting five fours, one more than Watling, in a 21-over stand before they were dismissed for 65 and 50 respectively.
Once the pair were out, Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner added a quick 58 runs for the fifth wicket before Northern Districts went into a freefall at the end of their innings. Their last five wickets fell for just 12 runs, shared by the economical Brent Arnel, Mark Gillespie and Jeetan Patel. Arnel finished with 3 for 30 in nine overs while Gillespie had returns of 3 for 46.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?