Taylor blasts Central Districts to title
Central Districts 206 (Taylor 80, Ingram 54, Noema-Barnett 49, Bates 3-61) beat Auckland 128 (Neeshan 39) by 78 runs
A brutal assault from Ross Taylor powered Central Districts to a 78-run rout of Auckland in the final of the HRV Cup at a packed Pukekura Park, and with it a spot in the lucrative Champions League Twenty20.
Taylor, who has been in roaring form all tournament, saved his finest for the big match, slamming eight sixes on his way to a 30-ball 80 that took CD to 206, only two short of their highest total this season. Auckland's slim hopes evaporated as early as the fourth over of the chase, by when CD's new-ball bowlers, Michael Mason and Graham Napier, had snared two wickets each to make the score 9 for 4.
Auckland bowled after winning the toss and CD opener Peter Ingram, who celebrated his national call-up with a quick half-century, made 54 of the total of 71 before he was dismissed in the 11th over.
After that Taylor was involved in a stunning partnership with Kieran Noema-Barnett that raised 133 runs in less than nine overs. The highlights of the stand included a Ravi Bopara over in which 24 runs were blasted and another from debutant Jimmy Neesham, who was taken out of the attack after leaking 20 in one over. But it was Michael Bates who had the worst time among the Auckland bowlers: he was smashed for 59 runs in his first three overs. Despite finishing the innings with an excellent over - three wickets and two runs - he ended with the unwanted record of conceding most runs by a New Zealand bowler in Twenty20s.
In the face of a stiff target, Auckland's top-order folded without resistance. No. 6 Colin de Grandhomme threw his bat around for a 11-ball 25 and Neeshan attempted to redeem himself with a brisk 39 but Auckland never really threatened to pull of a win, and were bowled out in the 17th over.