Northern Districts move top of Super Smash ladder after victory over Central Districts

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NZN

Northern Districts have leapfrogged to the top of a congested Twenty20 Super Smash leaderboard after a five-wicket win over Central at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth.

Knights Tim Seifert batting during the Burger King Super Smash Twenty20 cricket match Knights v Auckland Aces played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Copyright photo: © Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz

Knights Tim Seifert batting during the Burger King Super Smash Twenty20 cricket match Knights v Auckland Aces played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Source: Photosport

The win came just three days after Central beat ND by 49 runs in Tauranga.

Northern now have four wins from six matches, and sit two points clear of second-placed Auckland.

Canterbury and defending champions Wellington are level on 12 in third place.

Chasing Central's 181-8, Northern looked well in control at 111-2 but slowed after losing wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert for 47 off 36 balls early in the 12th over.

Ajaz Patel's left-arm spin removed a couple of key wickets in Brett Hampton (26) and Nick Kelly (four) but Daryl Mitchell's 13-ball 30 saw ND home with 12 balls to spare.

Earlier, Black Caps opener George Worker continued his rich vein of form with a stylish 75-run knock for CD after they won the toss and opted to bat.

Worker, who averaged 39 for New Zealand in the recent three-match ODI series against the Windies, belted seven fours and six sixes in his 38-ball innings.

Central lost momentum once he was removed early in the 13th over, caught by Mitchell off Anton Devcich.

Skipper Will Young lasted two more overs for 43 off 35, but it was the loss of Dane Cleaver late in the 17th over that sparked a late collapse.

Central lost their last five wickets for 24 runs, Seifert featuring in two run outs and Devcich leading the wicket takers with 3-21 off his four overs.

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