Papps, Ronchi help Wellington break deadlock

Wellington 173 for 5 (Ronchi 79, Papps 63) beat Auckland 140 (Munro 38, Verma 3-28, Arnel 3-31) by 33 runs

Half-centuries from Michael Papps and Luke Ronchi helped Wellington record their first win of the 2016-17 Super Smash at the Basin Reserve. Having posted 173 for 5 after electing to bat, they bowled Auckland out for 140 with four balls left.

Brent Arnel and Anurag Verma, the seamers, picked up three wickets apiece to consign Auckland to their first loss of the season. They were still placed No. 1 in the six-team table, two points ahead of second-placed Central Districts.

Wellington were reduced to 14 for 3 in the fourth over when Grant Elliott was dismissed. The loss of wickets hardly seemed to affect Papps and Ronchi, who added 115 for the fourth wicket in just 11 overs to drive the innings forward. Matt Taylor's unbeaten 20, consisting of two fours and a six, helped finish off the innings on a high.

Auckland lost wickets in clusters - they first lost Rob Nichol and Jeet Raval in the space of eight deliveries. Then, Mark Chapman and Colin de Grandhome were dismissed in the space of three balls. Then the triple-strike of Colin Munro, who top scored with 38, SM Solia and Tarun Nethula in the 17th over nearly completed a batting collapse.

Jeetan Patel, the offspinner, hammered the final nail when he sent back Donovan Grobbelaar for 26 to complete the 33-run win.