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Williams hat-trick, five-fa snatches stunning win for KINGS

Williams hat-trick, five-fa snatches stunning win for KINGS
Firebirds v KINGS scorecard

Canterbury KINGS bowler Will Williams took five late wickets including a dramatic hat-trick to snatch a memorable 3-run victory over the Wellington Firebirds at the Basin Reserve. 

The Firebirds were well in control in their chase of 149 courtesy of another half-century to the in-form Devon Conway (51 off 39) and a handy contribution from Fraser Colson (37 off 29).

When Williams entered the attack in the 18th over the Firebirds needed just 24 to win off 18 balls with six wickets in hand.   

He turned the match in spectacular fashion with a two-over spell. After taking a hat-trick in his first over, Williams closed out the match with wickets off the last two balls of the innings to finish with 5-12.

First, Williams bowled Fraser Colson, then had Lauchie Johns caught at long on without scoring. He completed his hat-trick with a one-handed caught and bowled to dismiss Jamie Gibson for 13.

Now seven down, the Firebirds needed 12 off the last over, bowled by Williams. Eight runs came from the first four balls and the Firebirds required four from two for victory.

But Peter Younghusband and Logan van Beek were both dismissed in search of a match-winning boundary and the KINGS grabbed a crucial victory.

Batting first, the KINGS’ 148-8 seemed below par against a batting lineup in good touch. Opener Jack Boyle top-scored with 46 off 38 as the visitors struggled for fluency throughout their innings.

The win is the third of the season for the KINGS who are still in the mix for a spot in the finals with matches against the Knights and Otago Volts to come.

Despite the setback, the Firebirds remain on top of the table and in the box seat to host the Grand Final at the Basin Reserve next weekend. The Firebirds play the Auckland ACES at the Basin Reserve on Sunday, their last match before the finals.

Blaze continue winning streak 
Blaze v MAGICIANS scorecard

The Wellington Blaze continued their unbeaten Dream11 Super Smash season with an emphatic eight-wicket win over the Canterbury MAGICIANS at the Basin Reserve.

Winning the toss and opting to bat first, top-scorer Kirsty Nation (32 off 21) got the MAGICIANS off to a fast start with a flurry of boundaries. However, wickets were falling around her and the visitors were 4-54 after their powerplay.

When Nation was bowled by a Melie Kerr wrong’un in the next over, the run-rate dried up and wickets continued to fall with regularity.

Kerr (4-15) and Deanna Doughty (3-16) were outstanding, as was Xara Jetly (1-13) on Twenty20 debut, and the Blaze bowled out the MAGICIANS in the 20th over for just 96.

The defending champions chased down the target with ease with opener Rebecca Burns finishing unbeaten on 53 off 38 with 8 fours and a six.

Rachel Priest (27) provided excellent support as the Blaze cruised to victory with 41 balls to spare, their ninth win in a row this season.

Chasing a Twenty20 three-peat, the Blaze are guaranteed to host the Grand Final at the Basin Reserve next weekend. They will face the winner of the Elimination Final which will be contested by the second and third-placed teams after the round-robin.

Three teams are vying for the two spots in the Elimination Final; the Auckland HEARTS, Otago Sparks and Central Hinds. The Northern Spirit and Canterbury MAGICIANS are eliminated from finals contention.

The Blaze have one more match before the Grand Final, against the Auckland HEARTS at the Basin Reserve on Sunday.

The MAGICIANS finish their season with the Northern Spirit at Bay Oval on Sunday then the Otago Sparks at Hagley Oval on Tuesday.