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February 4, 2005
Northern Districts 164 for 5 in 20 overs (Styris 96) beat Wellington 267 for 8 in 38 overs (Fleming 70, Nevin 70, Parlane 50) by 5 wickets (Duckworth-Lewis)
In a State Shield game of stunning drama which had constant stoppages due to rain, Northern Districts pulled off an incredible win against Wellington with a last-ball six.
Put in to bat at Taupo, Wellington scored an amazing 267 for 8 from 38 overs, which was largely due to an opening partnership of 117 off only 12 overs by Stephen Fleming and Chris Nevin. Fleming's 70 came from just 44 balls. In the midst of their partnership they inflicted a 30-run over on Graeme Aldridge, who has been the best bowler in the competition so far. That was a New Zealand record for most number of runs in an over in a one-day match, surpassing the 26 scored on two occasions - by Lance Cairns off Sri Lanka's Vinodhan John in 1983 in Colombo, and by Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe against Graham Gooch at Manchester in 1986.
Nevin also scored 70, but at a more leisurely rate, getting his runs off 74 balls. However, any respite ND might have felt was coming their way when both were dismissed was denied by Michael Parlane, who hit 50 off 49 balls. Wellington had gone into the match knowing that they needed to win with a bonus point to keep their hopes of a semi-final berth alive. At 267 for 8 at the end of their 38 overs, they must have fancied their chances. They would have been even more confident of victory when ND were 4 for 2. But that merely set the stage for Scott Styris to do what he has been threatening to all summer. His lack of runs earlier had been a concern but his form has been returning recently, and he demonstrated here that anything his international captain could do, he could do better.
Styris scored his half-century off only 28 balls, and then went on to make 96 off 57. He was on course for the fastest hundred in New Zealand - the record is currently held by Aravinda de Silva, who hit one off 65 balls - but James Franklin had him caught by Nevin. ND finally needed seven from the last two balls to get to the revised target of 163 from 20 overs. Matt Hart hit a single off the penultimate delivery, before Peter McGlashan struck a meaty blow over square leg to seal a magnificent victory.
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