Astle seals Wizards win

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Nathan Astle earned Canterbury Wizards a second consecutive victory in the State Twenty20 competition with 75 not out against Central Stags.

Nathan Astle earned Canterbury Wizards a second consecutive victory in the State Twenty20 competition with 75 not out against Central Stags at Napierís McLean Park.

Astle top-scored as Canterbury made 172 for four with two balls to spare to complete a six-wicket win, their second win of the competition.

Mathew Sinclair hit 58 for the Stags on their tournament debut as they set a total of 171, having lost nine wickets from their 20 overs after winning the toss.

A change of tactics by CD saw Sinclair moved to opener from his middle-order position in the State Shield win that opened the weekend double header.

Blackcaps all-rounder Jacob Oram also returned to the CD side, at Michael Masonís expense.

Once again, Jamie How maintained a frantic pace from the off, helping his side to 50 off only 30 deliveries in 18 minutes.

How succumbed to wily veteran Chris Harris for 41, but Sinclair and Ross Taylor continued to accumulate runs quickly.

They brought up 100 in 58 balls, but the youngster fell for 20. Oram lasted only three balls for one run before falling to a teasing ball by Paul Wiseman.

The hosts failed to maintain a partnership from there on in. From 104 for two, they fell to 171 for nine from their 20 overs, Astle, Wiseman and Chris Cairns taking two wickets apiece.

Canterbury set off at even faster pace, earning their first 50 in 26 balls, but lost Brendon McCullum en route for 16, caught acrobatically by Oram off Lance Hamilton.

Craig McMillan joined his long-time team-mate Astle at the crease and the duo ran up a 50 partnership in 22 balls, before Taylor ran out McMillan expertly for 25.

Peter Fulton made 21 before falling to Ewen Thompson and Oram earned Chris Cairnsí wicket for Brendon Diamanti for two with another diving catch at cover.

But Harris came to the crease and made a vital cameo, hitting 15 from nine balls in support to Astle to earn his side victory.
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