The Ashes | 4th Test, Day 4: Usman Khawaja hits centuries in consecutive innings
8 Jan 2022
Michael Bracewell, captain of Wellington Firebirds, knocked out Central Stags with his unbeaten spellbinding hundred. He was the lone warrior until late support came in the form of Logan van Beek, with whom he put up a match-defining partnership.
The skipper finished unbeaten on 141 (65), consisting of eleven fours and the same number of biggies. van Beek also chipped in with a quick cameo of 37 runs in just 18 balls, helping his captain stem an enchanting partnership of 79 runs in just 34 balls for the seventh wicket.
With 17 runs needed off the last over, the centurion struck two sixes and a boundary of Tom Bruce’s over ensuring that they won the match by two wickets with a ball to spare.
Chasing 228 to win, Bracewell’s Wellington were 43/5 at one stage, but Jamie Gibson 21 (14) gave a small support to his skipper. They both joined hands in the middle and added 77 runs for the sixth wicket, before the captain and van Berk finished off the game.
For the Stags, Doug Bracewell and Seth Rance did the damage up-front, but destiny had some other plans. The former took three wickets, while the latter ended with a couple of wickets. Although their prowess was scant against the Firebirds chief’s brilliance.
With this win, Wellington stay firmly on the third spot with sixteen points from seven matches. Despite this loss, Central Stags are at the fourth spot, but this defeat should be an alarming call for the management.
Earlier in the day, Wellington Firebirds won the toss and opted to bowl, at the Pukekura Park. Central Stags’ did a pretty fine job - on the back of performances by Josh Clarkson 76* (38), Bayley Wiggins 45 (30) and Tom Bruce 36 (17) - they notched a mammoth total of 227/4. However, it was their bowling, yet again, who failed to clinch a win after being in the boxing seat.
Now, the Wellington Firebirds will lock horns with the Northern Knights on January 16, 2022, and the Central Stags will also play Northern Knights but on January 14, 2022.
Wellington Firebirds– 228/8 (19.5)
Michael Bracewell- 141* (65), Doug Bracewell 3/33 (4)
Central Stags – 227/4 (20)
Josh Clarkson- 76* (38), Ben Sears- 2/35 (4)
Wellington Firebirds won by 2 wickets.