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Central Districts' bowling firepower lifts them to title win

Doug Bracewell is striving for a fresh start Getty Images

Central Districts 147 for 8 (Foxcroft 63, Santner 2-23, Abbott 2-29) beat Northern Districts 80 (Seifert 18, Milne 3-12, Ajaz 3-24, Bracewell 2-10) by 67 runs

A Central Districts bowling attack, comprising only internationals - Seth Rance, Adam Milne, Doug Bracewell, Ajaz Patel and Blair Tickner - combined to dismiss Northern Districts for only 80 in under 15 overs for a 67-run thrashing in the Super Smash final on Sunday. Central Districts lifted the title in Hamilton after No. 3 Dean Foxcroft's half-century had lifted them to a respectable 147, that proved too much for Northern Districts.

Most of the Northern Districts wickets were more a result of poor shot selection than unplayable bowling. Nine of their 10 dismissals were catches to fielders, almost all straightforward, whether in the circle, at the boundary or to the wicketkeeper, as only three batsmen scored in double digits and none more than 20. Opener Nick Kelly was the only one bowled, when he chopped on off the inside edge while trying to drive through the covers off Milne in the second over. Tim Seifert (18) started confidently with a six over long leg but when he tried to repeat it next ball, he top-edged Bracewell behind square on the leg side for wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver. In a bid to accelerate near the close of the Powerplay, Daryl Mitchell handed a simple catch to mid-off off Patel, off the last ball of the sixth over.

Thirty-nine for 3 after six overs with the asking rate rising, the middle-order batsmen also took their chances but with no success. Captain Dean Brownlie and allrounder Corey Anderson holed out to long-on in consecutive overs. Northern Districts were 50 for 5 at the halfway mark, and Central Districts only had to sustain the pressure and they did for the remaining wickets to fall.

Daniel Flynn did a repeat of Seifert by first launching Patel over midwicket for six and then handing a catch to Will Young in the deep next ball, only three balls into his innings. Milne picked two of the remaining four wickets to finish with 3 for 12 in his 16 deliveries and sealed the victory too.

"I suppose it bodes well for us as well that we bowled for long periods putting up pressure," Ajaz said of his side's bowling performance in light of many of the Northern Districts batsmen picking out fielders at the boundary rope. "The way a lot of our seamers bowled probably helped me out a bit, in terms of the fact that I could just come in and bowl with freedom and not have to worry too much about the run rate. That made my job easier, and I suppose it's one of those surfaces that always assists the spinners."

Earlier, Central Districts opted to bat and suffered early blows at the hands of Kyle Abbott who drew outside edges of both openers George Worker and Will Young. Foxcroft, however, used his drives and pulls to stitch partnerships with the middle order to see them past 100 even as wickets fell regularly to the spinners. Ish Sodhi had captain Tom Bruce and wicketkeeper-batsman Cleaver caught behind while Santner got rid of Kieran Noema-Barnett and Bracewell for single-digit scores.

Foxcroft brought up his fourth T20 half-century with a six over long leg before handing a return catch to Tim Southee for a 50-ball 63. He fell with the score on 112 in the 16th over, but Milne (14* off 11) and Ajaz (12* off seven balls) stretched the score towards 150 and out of Northern Districts' reach.

Northern D 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st10NF KellyTL Seifert
2nd22DG BrownlieTL Seifert
3rd7DG BrownlieDJ Mitchell
4th9DG BrownlieCJ Anderson
5th0CJ AndersonMJ Santner
6th15DR FlynnMJ Santner
7th10MJ SantnerSC Kuggeleijn
8th5TG SoutheeSC Kuggeleijn
9th1KJ AbbottSC Kuggeleijn
10th1KJ AbbottIS Sodhi