The Central Stags can stand and salute stalwart Michael Mason, who signed off his career in fairytale fashion when he helped win a gripping Ford Trophy one-day final with one ball to spare today.
Mason, a 37-year-old better known for his niggardly seam bowling, covered himself in glory by clouting a career high 41 not out off 19 balls as the Stags chased down the Auckland Aces’ challenging 282 for eight at New Plymouth.
Mason, who’d early picked up three wickets, clubbed 20 runs off the 49th over from left-arm fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan to leave the hosts requiring only six off the final over from Chris Martin at Pukekura Park.
He and Martin Kain, who ended up unbeaten on 23 off 15, duly completed their work to cap an outstanding chase from the Stags after their cause looked doomed at 226 for eight in the 46th over.
But Mason and Kain stepped into the breach, putting on 60 for the ninth wicket in a 27-ball partnership which hits its straps in the penultimate over when Mason twice hit McClenaghan over the ropes.