This may be Central Hinds' first State League Final but if they are to go all the way they will need to pull something very special out of the bag, very special indeed - their opponents, the Canterbury Magicians, are in formidable touch.

Magicians, the reigning champions, have lost only one match this season, ending up top of the league by 13 points. Central, by contrast, have lost four times - twice to Magicians, twice to Auckland.

Canterbury have been in devastating form this season, with former England star Mandie Godliman topping the run-scoring chart with 532 runs in ten matches. "I've had the best season I've had so far ever in New Zealand," Godliman told Cricinfo. "My cricket's going really well."

Their captain Haidee Tiffin has conjured up runs aplenty - 414 so far - while her fellow New Zealand international Maria Fahey has struck 355. Also in the team is another international Rebecca Steele, who forms a strong spin alliance with Selena Charteris.

But don't write Central off just yet: captained by the New Zealand allrounder Aimee Mason, they will be ready to take on allcomers. Mason has scored 277 runs this season, while Sara McGlashan has truck 309 runs. Both will need to be on fire for the final, which starts at 10.30am on Saturday.