Wellington win one-day final by three wickets

Wellington Firebirds skipper Hamish Bennett celebrates the wicket of Otago's Anaru Kitchen during the Ford Trophy one-day final. Picture: RNZ

Wellington has edged to a three-wicket win in the Ford Trophy one-day cricket final, stealing home with eight balls to spare at Dunedin’s University Oval.

Wicketkeeper Lauchie Johns and Ollie Newton guided the visitors home, Johns with a well-paced 24 from 20 balls after Wellington lost innings anchor Malcolm Nofal for 73 early in the 47th over as they chased Otago’s 234-8.

Nofal and Peter Younghusband (49) had earlier combined to put on 118 for the sixth wicket after Wellington had stumbled to 75-5 in 17 overs.

Jacob Duffy was the chief destroyer for Otago at 3-50, with Michael Rippon chipping in with 2-47 off his 10 overs.

Earlier, Otago had battled through their own collapse, Wellington looking in complete control after reducing them to 57-7 early in the 16th over, led by captain Hamish Bennett’s 4-46.

But Christi Viljoen and Rippon rescued the innings with a 146-run stand for the eighth wicket. Viljoen anchored the innings with an unbeaten 87 off 107 balls, while Rippon lasted until late in the 48th over for a 112-ball 82 as Otago battled their way to a defendable total.

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