Central Districts take title with miraculous win
Central Districts 285 for 8 (van Wyk 66, Robinson 63, Nethula 43, Mason 41*, McClenaghan 3-80) beat Auckland 282 for 8 (Parlane 106, Munro 68*, Mason 3-52) by two wickets
Michael Mason signed off his career with a dream finish to secure the Ford Trophy for Central Districts after it was seemingly headed towards defending champions Auckland in New Plymouth. A career-best 41 not out off 19 balls from Mason helped CD pull off a miraculous victory with one ball to spare.
With 28 deliveries to go, CD looked out of the chase - they had only two wickets remaining, and needed 58 more. Mason, 37, didn't give up - smashing 20 off the penultimate over from left-arm fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan to leave CD needing only six off the final over. With Martin Kain (23 off 15) for company, Mason completed the win off the penultimate delivery.
It completed a fairytale turnaround for CD, and a less pleasant one for McClenaghan, who had earlier put Auckland on course for victory with a three-wicket burst with the new ball. Instead of being a hero, that late costly over left him with figures of 10-0-80-3.
CD recovered from the early McClenaghan blows due to half-centuries from opener Dean Robinson and wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk. Their dismissals within the space of 16 deliveries put Auckland in charge once more, before Tarun Nethula's quickfire 43, a career-high, gave CD a slender chance. Mason and Kain did the rest.
Mason had impressed with the ball earlier, with wickets at the start and end of the innings. Auckland's batting revolved around a second successive century from Neal Parlane, who was only called into the first team last week as Auckland were missing several players due to international commitments. His 106 steadied the innings, before Colin Munro powered a quick half-century to set CD a stiff challenge, which they proved just good enough to meet.
A great win by CD and a awesome way for Mike Mason to finish his career. Have a gd night @TbagNethula well played too bro.— Ross Taylor (@RossLTaylor) February 12, 2012