Magic day for the Wizards

The Canterbury Wizards have won the inaugural State Twenty20 title, beating the Auckland Aces by 6 wickets in an entertaining match in front of 4,000 plus spectators at Eden Park Outer Oval in Auckland.

Brendon McCullum was the star of the show for the Wizards, striking a destructive 62 from just 22 balls. He played the main role in an 80 run opening stand with Nathan Astle off just the first five overs of the Wizards run chase. Astle contributed heavily himself, making 74 as Canterbury romped to victory with 16 balls to spare.

Earlier in the afternoon the Auckland Aces got off to a brilliant start, Lou Vincent and Paul Hitchcock put on 50 for the first wicket before Vincent went for 36 off 18 balls. Captain Richard Jones followed soon after.

Scott Styris joined the fray and went on the attack immediately. He and Hitchcock put on 53 for the third wicket. Styris looked in devastating form in his 62 from 31 balls but once he fell the Auckland innings went to pieces and the Aces had to settle for 179 when they should have really made 200 plus.

Canterbury came out with a very attacking mindset and the Auckland bowlers were no match for the belligerent stroke play of McCullum and Astle. When McCullum went, Craig McMillan replaced him and the attacking continued from the Wizards. McMillan smashed his way to 36 in a 71-run second wicket stand and once Auckland finally managed to get rid of McMillan it was too late, by then the match was over.

Canterbury lost a couple more wickets on their way to victory but the final result was inevitable with the winning runs being brought up courtesy of a Scott Styris no-ball and a Chris Harris single with more than two and a half overs still remaining.

The win will be a great confidence boost for the Wizards as they now prepare for the State Shield One Day final which they host next week.

Auckland 179/7
S Styris 62, P Hitchcock 37
C Cairns 2/31, P Wiseman 1/18

Canterbury won by 6 wickets

Canterbury 180/4 off 17.2 overs
N Astle 74, B McCullum 62
S Styris 1/18, K Mills 1/44

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