Final Wellington 172 for 7 (Taylor 48*, Tickner 4-34) beat Central Districts 158 for 8 (Clarkson 53*, Arnel 2-16) by 14 runs
After Wellington's top-order crumbled to Blair Tickner's fiery spell, Matt Taylor and Jeetan Patel struck a 25-ball partnership of 58 runs to give their team a late surge that eventually was too much for the chasing Central Districts outfit.
After what seemed like a good toss to win, Central Districts struck early after sending Wellington in. Hamish Marshall and Tom Blundell were out for ducks off consecutive deliveries in the second over, both falling to 23-year old Tickner. Opener Michael Papps hit a sluggish 29 in a bid to reconstruct the innings, but he too was soon gone as Wellington's fourth casualty, with the team at 65 in the 11th over. Matt Taylor then put on 28 runs for the sixth wicket with Michael Pollard (32). But with Pollard out - followed by Anurag Verma soon after - Taylor put together a quickfire 58 runs with Patel to take Wellington past 170. Patel's 11-ball cameo of 28 included three fours and one six.
Chasing 173, Central Districts started poorly. They lost a wicket in each of the first three overs to be left reeling at 6 for 3. Openers George Worker, Mahela Jayawardene and Jesse Ryder fell for 2, 0 and 0 respectively. Ben Smith (27) and the captain Will Young (27) added 40 runs for the fourth wicket, but the latter's dismissal effected another collapse as Central Districts fell from 46 for 3 to 67 for 6. Thanks in part to Central Districts' constant dismissals, Wellington's Brent Arnel went for four per over for figures of 2-16 and Grant Elliot finished with 2-22 to strangle the flow of runs. And while Josh Clarkson remained not out with a 31-ball knock of 53, it was eventually too much for Central Districts to do as they fell 14 runs short after 20 overs, finishing on 158 for 8.
Wellington captain Marshall said that even after a tournament start that included many hiccups, his players' experience in tough situations paid off. "We started the tournament with high hopes, and after four straight losses, we were down a little bit, but the boys showed a lot of character, and the win shows that character. The experience of the players and their calmness came through," Marshall said.
Marshall conceded that the tournament was very stressful given their poor start and that they started garnering momentum only with the tournament's progress. "We started the season poorly in the field," he said. "We tightened up after the first few games but only started gathering momentum towards the end of the season, after the super-over win."
Grant Elliot gave credit to their bowling outfit for their finals win. "Mahela's wicket was very important. Brent [Arnel] bowled well and the Mahela-Jesse [Ryder] wicket was the key," Elliot said. "We needed to get quick wickets and when you get three wickets in the first six overs, you have a good chance of limiting them through the middle."