Wizards openers set platform

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A century opening stand between State Canterbury Wizards openers Michael Papps and Shanan Stewart set the platform for a nine-wicket Twenty20 victory over State Wellington Firebirds at QEII Park.

Papps (66) and Stewart (66 not out) put on 136 for the first wicket before the Blackcaps opener was bowled by Luke Woodcock, having struck 10 fours from 53 deliveries.

Wizards captain Chris Harris, at number three, struck 25 from 12 balls to guide his team past Wellington’s 168 with two overs to spare.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat, and relied on a third-wicket stand of 71 between veterans Chris Nevin (29) and Neal Parlane (63).

Stu Mills launched a late assault on the home attack with three fours and two sixes for his 38 to boost the total, made at a cost of five wickets.

However, Canterbury’s top order flourished to earn a first victory of their State Twenty20 title defence.
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