Wellington rise in table after three-wicket win
Wellington 242 (Papps 70, Murdoch 68, Mathieson 4-55) and 240 for 7 (Murdoch 78, Joon 50, Pollard 40*) beat Central Districts 229 (Young 65, Worker 52, McEwan 5-87) and 252 (Bruce 80, Van Wyk 56, Arnel 6-52) by three wickets
Fifties from Stephen Murdoch and Deepak Joon, and a steadying 40 not out from Michael Pollard helped Wellington chase down a target of 240 for a three-wicket win over Central Districts. The win was Wellington's second of the season and lifted them from the bottom of the points table.
Wellington's 240-run chase was not without a few hiccups. The overnight pair of Joon and Murdoch carried their rebuilding effort into the fourth day, leading the team to 134 for 1. However, Ajaz Patel and Doug Bracewell struck within ten overs to leave the team shaky at 169 for 4. Pollard and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell stitched 56 runs for the fifth wicket, but three wickets in the space of two overs left Wellington at 226 for 7, before Pollard calmly guided them home.
Wellington's bowlers also played a key role in the win. Medium-pacer Matt McEwan's second first-class five-for restricted Central Districts to 229 in their first innings. Pacer Brent Arnel's 6 for 52, along with offspinner Jeetan Patel's 3 for 94 limited Central Districts to 252. Central's lead of 239 would have been considerably smaller had it not been for fifties from Tom Bruce (80) and Kruger van Wyk (56), who helped lift the side from 55 for 4.
Central Districts also fought back by restricting Wellington's first-innings lead to 13 runs. Wellington's first innings was given a promising start and fifties from Michael Papps and Murdoch had taken them to 192 for 4. However, they lost their last six wickets for 50 runs, ending their innings at 242. Andrew Mathieson was the pick of the Central District bowlers with 4 for 55.