Knights win State Championship

State Northern Knights claimed the State Championship after a draw with State Canterbury Wizards at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.

Knights captain James Marshall and Wizards skipper Chris Harris agreed the result at tea on the final day of the five-day match.

ND, who would take the title by chasing down 374 for an outright win or with the draw, had made their way 258 for two by the afternoon interval.

Alun Evans progressed to 104 for his maiden first-class century of the season, and the World Cup-bound Hamish Marshall moved above 700 runs for the campaign with an unbeaten 80.

Canterbury declared twice in the match and made a concerted effort to upset the top-ranked qualifiers.

The prolific Michael Papps hit 132 and 96 in each innings as he moved over 1000 runs for the season.

He was joined in a record partnership of 246 with Shanan Stewart (118) as the Wizards set up a first-innings lead.

The Knights, chasing 444, were dismissed first time around for 319, after a middle-order counter attack led by fifty-makers Nick Horsley (66) and Joseph Yovich (52).

Papps also led Canterbury’s second innings of 249 for six declared, falling four runs short of a fifth first-class century for the season after his dismissal by Bruce Martin.

Marshall and Evans’ 149-run stand for the third wicket left the Wizards seeking an unlikely eight-wicket haul in the final session of the match, leading the teams to agree a premature end.

The result completes a turnaround for the Knights, taking the national first-class championship 12 months after coming in sixth and final place in the standings.

With Thanks To

Sky Pitch ANZ Ford
2 Degrees Accor Hotels BLK Burger King Caltex CCC GJ Gardner Hertz Les Mills Powerade Radio Sport TAB Tui