Wellington defend 182 in last-ball win

Wellington 182 for 9 (Pollard 74, Blundell 61, Mills 2-21) beat Auckland 180 for 5 (Nicol 68, Chapman 54) by two runs

Wellington staved off a challenge from Auckland captain Rob Nicol to defend their total of 182 by two runs off the last ball of the Super Smash match in Auckland.

Asked to bowl the last over, with Auckland needing 11 runs, Jeetan Patel dismissed Nicol for 68 off the second ball. The pair of SM Solia and Ben Horne brought the equation down to four off the last ball before Solia's reverse sweep trickled down the ground to a fielder for two runs.

Nicol, along with Hong Kong international Mark Chapman, had put Auckland back on track in the chase of 183 from a position of 52 for 3 in the eighth over. Both openers were dismissed in the first two overs for single figures while Jeet Raval scored 26 off 19 balls before falling to Patel. The fourth-wicket stand between Nicol and Chapman yielded 89 runs, after which Nicol and Solia shared a brisk partnership of 43 to bring Auckland closer. Nicol brought up his fifty with a flat six off 43 balls and his innings of 68 came off 52 deliveries, which included six fours.

Earlier, fifties from wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and Michael Pollard held up Wellington's innings. The pair scored a total of 135 runs in Wellington's 182 even as only one other batsman got into double-figures. The fifth-wicket partnership between Blundell and Pollard - 116 off 61 deliveries - took Wellington past 150 after they had been struggling at 41 for 4 in the seventh over, with Nicol taking two of those wickets. Blundell scored 61 off 41 but Pollard was brutal, smacking eight sixes and two fours in a 36-ball 74.