Fulton helps Canterbury pull off tough chase
Canterbury captain Peter Fulton cracked 104 off 80 balls to help his team pull off a formidable chase on the final day of a rain-hit match against Wellington in Rangiora. Chasing 303, Fulton brought up his half-century on his 26th delivery and the pace he set allowed Canterbury to reach the target in the 60th over. Fulton, who hit ten fours and two sixes, was supported by half-centuries from Shanan Stewart and Tom Latham, who was unbeaten on 53 off 50 balls when victory was achieved with six wickets in hand.
A chance of a result didn't seem possible after the second day was lost to rain. Wellington resumed their second innings on the fourth morning on 135 for 0, with a lead of 73 and Michael Papps batting on 95. Papps went on to score a double century - 206 off 313 balls - before Wellington declared on 364 for 5, setting Canterbury a daunting target which was ultimately chased down.
Canterbury seamer Andrew Ellis also played an important role in his side's victory, by taking 6 for 58 to dismiss Wellington for 239 in the first innings. Ellis cut through the top and middle order and Wellington were struggling at 126 for 9, before Mark Gillespie and Andy McKay added 113 for the last wicket. Gillespie scored 77 off 63 balls, while McKay made 33.
That recovery, however, was not enough to prevent Canterbury from taking a first-innings lead of 62. Fulton made 79 and Deam Brownlie 133 to lead their team to 301. In fact, Canterbury were well placed to take a much larger lead - at 187 for 2 - before they collapsed. Gillespie was the best of Wellington's bowlers in the first innings, taking 4 for 74. He took only one more wicket in the second innings, though, and conceded 87 in 14.3 overs, as Wellington were unable to defend 303.