Firebirds sensation Finn Allen (66 off 27) blasted one of the fastest fifties ever seen in the Dream11 Super Smash as Wellington locked in a home Grand Final for 2020/21.
LIFT-OFF 🚀🚀🚀@cricketwgtninc's Finn Allen records the 3rd-equal fastest 50 in Super Smash history - just 16 balls 🔥— Dream11 Super Smash (@SuperSmashNZ) January 31, 2021
And he's still going on @sparknzsport 🖥#SuperSmashNZ #CricketNation pic.twitter.com/g73Ll8A7jg
The defending men's champions stormed to the Grand Final for the second year running after trouncing the Central Stags in a ballistic display at the Basin that also saw Devon Conway (69 off 50, his third half century this summer) delight the home crowd with a quick half century in the chase.
They got their side off to a flier in the chase to ensure their side took a big eight-wicket win off the well performed Central Stags - who had found themselves quickly under pressure in this match despite having won the toss and batted.
A middle-order collapse cost the Stags momentum in their second loss on the trot.
That was despite a competitive start from George Worker and an exhilarating finish from allrounder Doug Bracewell who reached his second unbeaten T20 half century of the season, and of his career, with 53 not out off 27 balls.
M I N D T H E C A R S !— Central Stags 🏏 (@CentralStags) January 31, 2021
OK so we didn't get it right today but u have to see this 💣
DOUG BRACEWELL's 2nd unbeaten T20 career half ton & this season 🔥
Back home next for a big one at McLean Park Napier Friday 5 Feb v Kings#SuperSmashNZ #DOUGBRACEWELL #LOVETHESTAGS 🦌 pic.twitter.com/GxEDLcoLA0
On any ordinary day, it would have been enough to bowl at. But this was not an ordinary day in the capital against the form team of the summer.
The Stags' 164/7 was no match for the red-hot Firebirds' top order, with rising star Allen smoking his half century off just 16 balls (9x4, 2x6) and BLACKCAP Conway smashing the winning six - his first - to finish unbeaten, the hosts winning with a hefty 3.4 overs to spare to take themselves clear on the table.
The loss now piles pressure onto the Central Stags to win their final regular season match in Napier on Friday evening, 5 February in order to be assured of at least qualifying for the 2v3 Elimination Final.
FINISHED IN STYLE! Devon Conway (69*) puts the icing on an eight wicket victory for the Firebirds who will now host the Super Smash Grand Finals 🏏— Dream11 Super Smash (@SuperSmashNZ) January 31, 2021
Superb coverage on @sparknzsport 🖥#SuperSmashNZ #CricketNation pic.twitter.com/B6y2uZOMv3
They will be up against qualifier the Canterbury Kings in Napier who have meanwhile leapfrogged them into second spot, while the star-studded Northern Knights are breathing down their neck and can potentially overtake the Stags to claim the last qualifying berth if the Stags lose to the Kings and the Knights take a big enough win off the Volts in Dunedin the next day, Waitangi Day 6 February.
The Firebirds can meanwhile enjoy their final match of the regular season knowing the 2020/21 Dream11 Grand Final will take place at the Basin Reserve on Saturday, 13 February 2021 where they will be gunning for their second consecutive crown.