Cricket: Canterbury Kings snatch last over thriller to beat Wellington Firebirds, book Super Smash final spot against Auckland

Canterbury Kings have booked their spot in the final of the men's Super Smash, after snatching a last-over thriller victory against Wellington Firebirds.  

At 154/6 chasing 174 for victory, Canterbury's lower order pair of Matt Henry (16 not out) and Zak Foulkes (11 not out) hit 23 runs from the final over, and stole a four-wicket win to set up a final showdown against Auckland on Sunday.  

And needing three from the final ball, Foulkes sent Logan van Beek over midwicket for six, and sent the Kings into a fourth successive final.  

Canterbury have been beaten in the last three deciders, with two losses to Northern Brave, and one to the Firebirds.  

The Kings haven't won a domestic Twenty20 title since the competition's first year in 2006, when they defeated Auckland Aces by six wickets in the final.   

Defending 20 from the last six balls, van Beek failed to see his side over the line, after a late blitz from all-rounder Michael Bracewell (54 not out) powered the Firebirds to 173/7 from their 20 overs.  

After winning the toss and batting first on the short boundaries of Hamilton's Seddon Park, Wellington's cause was hampered by the loss of two early wickets, including Rachin Ravindra for just two when he was bowled by Foulkes.  

Devon Conway made his way to a run-a-ball 23, but he too fell when he lost his stumps to Canterbury captain Cole McConchie at 56/3.   

But in a partnership worth 53 in just 27 balls with Muhammad Abbas, Bracewell kickstarted the innings, including hitting Henry for 23 in the final over to reach his fifty with the final delivery.  

Chasing 174, the Kings lost their two senior batters in the powerplay.


Tom Latham fell to Nathan Smith for a first-ball duck, courtesy of a stunning one-handed catch at first slip by van Beek.  

One over later, Henry Nicholls departed for just one on the same day he was axed from the Blackcaps' test squad, when he was caught by Adam Milne off van Beek's bowling.  

But while their senior internationals failed, Canterbury's fringe Blackcaps stepped up to rebuild.  

As part of a 46-run partnership with Chad Bowes (46), McConchie added 53 in 38 balls, but departed when he found the hands of Bracewell off Ben Sears.  

Wicketkeeper Mitch Hay kept the run chase alive with a 28-ball 38, but when he went in the penultimate over, Canterbury needed 20 from the last six deliveries.  

Van Beek did the Kings a favour, with a wide, before serving up a low full toss that Henry sent straight back over the bowler's head for six.  

After another wide, Henry repeated the dose, this time by hitting another full toss over long-on.  

And needing three for a win and two for a tie – with no super over given the women's eliminator final to follow – Foulkes made sure there was no controversy, and sent van Beek into the crowd to end Wellington's hopes of another Super Smash title.  

Wellington Firebirds 173/7 (Bracewell 54 not out; Foulkes 3/31)  

Canterbury Kings 177/6 (McConchie 53 not out; Sears 2/23)

Canterbury win by four wickets