Central Districts into final after beating Auckland

Will Young
Will Young
Central Districts will meet Northern Districts in the Super Smash grand final in Hamilton tomorrow.

Central qualified by winning the elimination final against Auckland by 44 runs at Eden Park Outer Oval yesterday.

Tomorrow's match will be a repeat of the 2017-18 final as the Knights look to secure back-to-back titles at home.

Central posted the fourth-highest score of this year's Super Smash thanks largely to a 143 run partnership for the fourth wicket between opener Will Young, who was finally out for 83, and Dane Cleaver, who was unbeaten on 77.

In dream batting conditions, the pair counterattacked after the visiting side lost George Worker and Dean Foxcroft early, smashing the Auckland attack to all areas including Sandringham Rd and the main ground's upper reaches.

Mitchell McClenaghan took two for 33 from his four overs as Central posted 219 for four from its 20 overs.

In reply, Colin Munro came hard out of the gate, striking 33 from 18 balls before holing out to Tom Bruce from Adam Milne's bowling.

Daniel Bell-Drummond formed the backbone of the innings, making 64, supported by Glenn Phillips, who chipped in with 30, and Mark Chapman, who reached 10.

When Bell-Drummond went in the 17th over with nearly 20 an over still required, Auckland's hopes of a trip down State Highway One went with him, as Central Districts ran out the winner by 44 runs.

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