Akshaya Krishna ∙ Mar 27 2023, 8:00 PM | 3 Min Read

FORD Trophy Final: Bowes' less Kings Collide with Tickner Less Stags

image-lfqrs7oiStags to collide against Kings [Twitter]

"Opportunities don't happen, you create them"- as the quote says it's opportunities for the rookie Kiwi players to shine and rise to the occasion to win a sizzling silverware. Don't scratch your head. We are speaking about the 2022-23 season's Ford Trophy- the domestic 50 over the competition in New Zealand and now it has reached its climax. Central Districts/Stags take on Canterbury Kings at McLean Park in Napier in the grand finale.      

This clash was originally scheduled on February 19 but was postponed indefinitely until further notice as a precautionary measure for cyclone Gabrielle, which caused havoc across Hawke's Bay area where previously the summit clash was scheduled. However, this too will take place across Hawke's Bay.

Central Stags Road to the Final: 

The Stags were the first to seal the spot for D-Day. They topped the table with 30 points from 10 matches, winning 6, losing 3 and a point-shared match due to rain. Brad Schmulian with 383 runs is their top-scorer, while Brett Randell's 18 wickets in the tournament makes him the highest wicket-taker. 

However, due to international duties, Blair Tickner, and Will Young will miss the finale alongside Randell who was unavailable for selection. As usual, the side will be led by Central Stags Player of the Year award winner Tom Bruce.

Squad: Tom Bruce (c), Jack Boyle, Doug Bracewell, Will Clark, Josh Clarkson, Dane Cleaver (wk), Liam Dudding, Jayden Lennox, Ajaz Patel, Brad Schmulian, Bevan Small, Ben Smith, Ray Toole 

Canterbury Kings Road to the Final:

The Kings stood second on the table with 23 points from 10 matches with four wins and four losses alongside a couple of rain washed out contests. Moreover, the team haven't performed consistently over the course of the season but did well in the Qualifier to decimate third-placed Otago Volts to march into the last feast. 

Centuries from Chad Bowes and Leo Carter helped them post a massive 350 on the board. Following that, three-fers from William O'Rourke and Cole McConchie restricted the Volts to 221 as the Canterbury-based club won by whopping 129 runs.

Chad Bowes is Canterbury's top run-getter with 373 to his name, while Henry Shipley is their top wicket-taker with 13 wickets in just 6 matches. But these two pro players will not take part in the final due to their international call-ups alongside injuries to Zak Foulkes and Ken McClure have made the squad to be rearranged.

Squad: Cole McConchie (c), Matt Boyle, Leo Carter, Harry Chamberlain, Blake Coburn, Sean Davey, Cam Fletcher (wk), Mitchell Hay, Rhys Mariu, Angus McKenzie, Ed Nuttall, William O'Rourke, Fraser Sheat 

These two sides squared off twice this season, with Canterbury having an upper hand. While they won the first encounter by 6 wickets, the reverse fixture was swallowed by persistent rainfall.

Can Canterbury continue their domination, or will Central Stags end their 7-year-long wait? Only time will tell.

Match Details: 

Date & Time: March 28, 03.30 AM IST 

Venue: McLean Park, Napier 

 Live Streaming: New Zealand Cricket YouTube Channel

Pitch Report: The McLean Park pitch offers a bit for the seamers and more to the batters. This is the fourth match on this ground in this season, with the recent game getting abandoned due to rain. Interestingly, the abandoned game also took place between the two finalists. Moreover, the home side Stags haven't lost a game at Napier in this competition.

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Wicket-Keepers: Dane Cleaver, Cam Fletcher

Batters: Tom Bruce, Leo Carter, Ben Smith

All-Rounders: Cole McConchie, Doug Bracewell, Brad Schmulian

Bowlers: William O'Rourke, Ed Nuttall, Ray Toole

Captain: Tom Bruce

Vice-Captain: Cam Fletcher


With a few local stars not available for the finale, this will take a lot of efforts from the new comers and their senior pros as this will go down the wire. But seeing the squads and performances of both sides this season, Central Districts should end their 7-year-long wait for a title.