10 Dec 2017

Duck for Stokes, another loss for Canterbury

7:26 pm on 10 December 2017

Ben Stokes' struggles in New Zealand cricket have continued with the England allrounder run out for a duck as Canterbury fell to another defeat in the domestic one-day competition.

Ben Stokes playing for Canterbury.

Ben Stokes playing for Canterbury. Photo: Photosport

The allrounder returned figures of 1-56 from 10 overs in Sunday's fixture at Christchurch's Hagley Oval against Northern Districts.

Stokes pocketed a return catch to dismiss Northern Districts allrounder Anton Devcich in his ninth over, claiming his first wicket for Canterbury in his third game for the team.

But he later paid the price for ball watching from the non-striker's end, having faced just one delivery.

Called through for a single by partner Michael Pollard, Stokes hesitated as Brett Randell collected the ball at mid-on and threw down the stumps.

He had made two and 34 in his first two innings for Canterbury, who fell to their third loss in as many Ford Trophy games when they were all out for 231 chasing 275 for victory.

Christchurch-born Stokes is playing in his country of birth while waiting to learn if he'll be able to play in Australia this summer.

Stokes, who is sweating on a verdict from UK prosecutors regarding his brawl outside a Bristol club in September that left a man with a fractured eye socket, is barred from internationals but has been cleared to play domestic cricket with Canterbury.

He was last week provisionally named in England's ODI squad for the five- match series that follows the Ashes.

Devcich top-scored for Northern Districts with 59, while Nick Kelly and Daryl Mitchell both hit 44 and Black Caps squad members Matt Henry and Todd Astle collected three wickets each for the home team.

A century to opener Michael Pollard, who made 119, was in vain for Canterbury. Cameron Fletcher was the next best with 53 as veteran ND seamer Brent Arnel finished with figures of 4-40.

In other third round matches, a maiden List A century for Dane Cleaver helped Central Districts to a four-wicket win over Otago in New Plymouth.

Cleaver struck 124 not out off as many balls, hitting 10 fours and four sixes, as the Stags reached their 288-run target with 19 balls to spare at Pukekura Park.

Adam Milne was the other not out batsman on 34, while Doug Bracewell (35), Josh Clarkson (32) and Ben Wheeler (31) also made handy contributions.

Michael Rippon, Derek de Boorder and Neil Broom all earlier made half-centuries for Otago, with seam pairing Bracewell and Wheeler snaring three wickets apiece.

At the Eden Park Outer Oval in Auckland, another century went unrewarded as Mark Chapman played a superb innings only for the home side to fall to a five-wicket loss to Wellington.

Chapman finished on 125 not out from just 119 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes, while Craig Cachopa made 60 as Auckland posted 266-7 from 46 overs in a rain-affected first innings.

The visitors chased their revised target of 274 in 43 overs with almost six overs up their sleeve as Stephen Murdoch thumped 12 fours and three sixes on his way to 117 off only 91 balls.

Opener Malcolm Nofal chipped in with 51, with Devon Conway guiding the Firebirds home with an unbeaten 43.

Central Districts took the competition lead on nine points, with Auckland, Otago and Northern Districts all sitting on eight.

Wellington are fifth on four points, while Canterbury remain stuck on zero.