Wizards win earns home Shield semi-final

Canterbury Wizards claimed home advantage in the State Shield semi-final with a narrow two-wicket win over Wellington Firebirds at the Basin Reserve.

Iain Robertson and Johann Myburgh scored half-centuries in their successful chase of the Firebirds’ 221, with middle-order duo Kruger van Wyk (29) and Andrew Ellis (39) continuing the charge.

Stephen Fleming, with 57, and 50 from Matthew Bell set up the hosts’ total, with Hamish Bennett and Leighton Burtt taking two wickets each.

A late flourish from tailenders Michael Houghton (23 not out) and Mark Gillespie (10no) lifted their score.

Gillespie and Duwayne Bowden then took two wickets apiece in Wellington’s attempt to check the visitors’ progress.

But Burtt and Shane Bond, on four not out each, ensured victory with four balls to spare.

Canterbury now host Otago in Sunday’s semi-final to determine who plays holders Auckland Aces in next month’s final.

With Thanks To

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