A fantastic century by BJ Watling has guided Northern Districts to a thrilling five wicket victory against the Wellington Firebirds.
Wellington posted 263 for 8 after Captain Hamish Bennett won the toss and decided to bat first. It was a solid all round batting effort by Wellington with all batsman reaching double figures. Stephen Murdoch was the top scorer for Wellington with 42 from 55 balls. Wicket keeper Devon Conway (39), Michael Bracewell (33) and Luke Woodcock (30) ensured the middle order maintained the momentum for the Firebirds. Lower order batsman Ian Peake finished off the innings with a cameo of 19 from 12 balls.
Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers for Northern Districts, returning to action after the birth of his daughter with 3 for 50 off his 10 overs. In-form leg spinner Ish Sodhi captured 2 for 42 off his 10 overs.
After the early wicket of skipper Dean Brownlie, opening batsman BJ Watling and Nick Kelly would combine for a second wicket partnership of 152 which put Northern Districts in a strong position. Kelly was eventually dismissed for 56 off 65 balls from the bowling of Mark Taylor with the score at 155 in the 30th over.
BJ Watling kept the Northern Districts innings on target and he would go on to register his 8th List A century. He was eventually run out by Hamish Marshall for 115 off 132 balls which included 11 fours and 2 sixes. After Watling was dismissed, a brilliant innings by wicket keeper Tim Seifert (51*) steered Northern Districts to a five wicket victory with one ball to spare.
Dean Brownlie was presented with the A.D.G Roberts trophy at the conclusion of the match by Northland Cricket's President Murray Child.
Northern Districts now face Central Districts in the second round of the Ford Trophy on the 6th of December at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.