Nicholls ton guides Canterbury home in Ford Trophy final

Canterbury eased to their 15th one day domestic title after a convincing eight wicket victory over Northern Districts in the Ford Trophy final last night.

Black Caps batsman Henry Nicholls was the star of the show, scoring an unbeaten 127 in Canterbury's chase of 290.

Northern Districts had won the toss and chosen to bat earlier in the day, making a strong start thanks to the efforts of young opener Katene Clark (82).

But Canterbury's strong bowling attack had also prevented ND from escalating their strike rate through the middle and, when it came to Northern's turn at the bowling crease, they couldn't get the breakthroughs they needed if they were to break their 11-year one-day title drought.

Canterbury took control of the run chase through century stands for the first two wickets - Nicholls putting on 113 with Chad Bowes (42 off 40 balls) in the opening partnership before joining forces with Ken McClure in a 150-run stand for the second wicket.

McClure had already scored two one-day centuries in the 2020/21 campaign, and narrowly missed out on becoming the first Cantabrian to post three List A hundreds in a single summer when he was caught off part-timer Jeet Raval on 92, off just 74 deliveries.

Turning to the seldom utilised leg-spinner for a breakthrough had been a last throw of the die for ND captain Carter who had by then watched a largely controlled Nicholls performance effectively drive the game out of his reach.

Nicholls finished the night on 127 not out off 144 balls, including 12 fours, before Tom Latham struck the winning boundary with five overs to spare, and the celebrations began in the empty, floodlit Oval.

Canterbury paceman Will Williams finished the season as The Ford Trophy's top wicket-taker with 20 wickets from 11 matches at an 18.05 average and economy rate of 4.33, two wickets ahead of ND's Brett Hampton who claimed 18 from 12 matches at a 25.44 average and ER of 4.91.

After his remarkable season of seven 50+ scores, Auckland Aces batsman Will O'Donnell remained on top of the batting statistics with 537 runs from 10 innings at 53.70, McClure with the second highest aggregate of 480 runs from eight matches, including two centuries and three half centuries, for an average 68.57.