Santner, Wagner, Seifert fire as Northern Districts defend Super Smash title

Canterbury win Women's Super Smash title and send Amy Satterthwaite off in grand fashion

Deivarayan Muthu
File photo - Say cheese: The Northern Brave players pose with the Super Smash Trophy  •  Getty Images

File photo - Say cheese: The Northern Brave players pose with the Super Smash Trophy  •  Getty Images

Northern Districts 156 for 3 (Seifert 51, Joe Carter 30*, Shipley 2-42) beat Canterbury 154 for 6 (McConchie 54, Leo Carter 37, Santner 3-16, Wagner 2-22) by seven wickets
Northern Districts' New Zealand seniors Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, and Tim Seifert ushered them to their fourth domestic T20 title and second in a row. The result meant Cole McConchie's Canterbury suffered their third successive defeat in a Super Smash final.
Santner, who had set the final up for ND with a terrific spell of 4-0-16-3, quite fittingly finished off their chase of 155 at the Hagley Oval along with Joe Carter. He had been a doubtful starter for the game after having suffered a bruised thumb during ND's Eliminator against Otago in Dunedin on Thursday. Santner also felt some discomfort during the fag end of his bowling shift, but by then the left-arm fingerspinner had already taken out Leo Carter, Mitchell Hay, and wicketkeeper-batter Cam Fletcher.
Santner had been the hero for ND in the final against Canterbury in 2022, as well, when he cracked a 40-ball 92 not out. On Saturday, Santner did the job with the ball, smartly using the crease and angles to trick the Canterbury batters into one mis-hit after another. Fast bowler Wagner also showed off his bag of tricks, including the wide yorker and three-quarter seam ball, coming away with 2 for 22 in his four overs. It was Wagner who claimed the key wicket of Canterbury's powerplay enforcer - and future New Zealand player, according to coach Peter Fulton - Chad Bowes for 17 in the third over.
Canterbury's captain McConchie then found some form and repaired the innings with 54 off 36 balls. He was often proactive against ND's spin trio of Santner, Tim Pringle and Joe Walker, but Wagner had him chopping a wide yorker back onto his own stumps in the final over of the innings.
Henry Shipley, who fell ill during the last leg of the recent India tour, recovered sufficiently to produce an all-round effort for Canterbury, but it wasn't enough for them to break their final jinx. After punching an unbeaten 35 off 21 balls to haul Canterbury past 150, Shipley removed both Seifert and Katene Clarke. But Clarke's explosive cameo at the top and Seifert's more measured half-century ensured that ND were always in touch with the asking rate.
Will O'Rourke and Zak Foulkes, who were both accurate during the league phase of the competition, repeatedly missed their lengths under pressure in the final. They had combined figures of 6-0-60-0. Shipley had also looked quite rusty with his lengths in the early exchanges before he dragged it back and hit the deck.
Joe Carter and Santner coolly closed out the chase with an unbroken 45-run partnership off just 23 balls, keeping Canterbury waiting for their first Super Smash title since 2006, when the inaugural domestic T20 competition was held in New Zealand. As for the ND, they became the third team after Auckland and Wellington to successfully defend the domestic T20 crown.

Canterbury Magicians send Amy Satterthwaite off with title

Canterbury 145 for 9 (Anderson 95, Knott 1-26) beat Wellington 133 (McFadyen 30, Sullivan 3-29, Banks 2-17, Satterthwaite 2-26) by 12 runs
Canterbury Magicians successfully defended 145 against Wellington Blaze to send Amy Satterthwaite off with the Women's Super Smash title, in front of her friends and family in Christchurch. Satterthwaite fell for a duck after Canterbury had opted to bat, but then she took two wickets with the ball and was involved in the run-out of No.11 Maneka Singh off the final ball to have the final say in what was her final T20 match for her domestic side.
Gabby Sullivan and Melissa Banks were also among the wickets as Canterbury dismissed Wellington for 133 and romped to their second title in three years. Sullivan finished the competition as the highest wicket-taker, with 21 strikes, six clear of anybody else.
Opening batter Kate Anderson had dominated the first half of the final, smashing 95 off 62 balls, including 14 fours and a six. She was particularly severe on offspinner Leigh Kasperek, hitting her for 20 off ten balls. Anderson capped the tournament with a chart-topping 536 runs at an average of just under 60 and strike rate of 115.02.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo