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Gamechanger Doug Bracewell lauds Hagley Oval crowd

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After picking up his second Dream11 Gamechanger award of the season, Central Stags allrounder Doug Bracewell praised the Hagley Oval lights and crowd

A full house at Hagley Oval, perfect evening weather, and a high-scoring T20 combined to make the first Dream11 Super Smash game under lights at Christchurch's premier cricket venue a success - for everyone but the home team.

BLACKCAP Daryl Mitchell was in solid touch on T20 debut for hosts the Canterbury Kings with an outstanding 71 off just 46 balls in the Kings' chase under the new lights.

But the big-hitting Stags roared again with an 18-run victory, as veteran allrounder Doug Bracewell picked up his second Dream11 Gamechanger award in six games.

The Stags had posted 186 for five after captain George Worker won the toss, buoyed by BLACKCAP Will Young's second consecutive half century: 68 off 43 balls (seven boundaries, two sixes) in a 79-run stand with Worker for the second wicket.

Josh Clarkson (26 off 15) and Bracewell (an unbeaten 37- off 16) provided the turbo-charge at the death to set the Kings a challenging ask under lights - a chase that was made more difficult when Bracewell had Chad Bowes caught by Ross Taylor (playing his first Dream11 Super Smash match in four years) first ball of the innings.

Bracewell then removed the Kings' other opener Ken McClure for no score five balls later in a sensational start, but Mitchell's composure, peppered with eight boundaries and a six, saw the Kings climb past the required asking rate through the middle stages of the innings to make the Stags sweat.

The Stags fought back, however, with BLACKCAP Blair Tickner breaking the dangerous 91-run stand between Kings captain Cole McConchie (28 off 27) and classy Mitchell, before allrounder Clarkson took the crucial wicket of Mitchell in the 16th over, after which the visitors were back in control.

Stags first drop Young said playing under the new Hagley lights was an "amazing" experience.

"They're really bright. If the ball comes into them, you'd better watch out! To see the banks full at nine and ten o'clock at night was very cool, and I think it's going to be a fantastic asset not only for T20s, but for ODIs back here in the future for Christchurch."

After having missed last summer's Dream11 Super Smash season following shoulder surgery, Young has now scored back-to-back knocks of 50 and 68 in his first two games back for the T20 team.

"I haven't played much Super Smash cricket in a while, so it's been nice to be back out there and having some fun, and contributing to the team's wins."

The four-point victory pushed the Stags up to 16 points on the table, equal again with leaders the Wellington Firebirds (who have played fewer matches) and holding an eight-point gap over the Kings who will be back at Hagley Oval tonight to take on the winless Auckland Aces.

Earlier, the Canterbury Magicians had brushed aside the Central Hinds by eight wickets to effectively end the Hinds' campaign early.

The injury-hit national one-day leaders chalked up their sixth straight T20 defeat in co-captain Jess Watkin's 50th game while opposing Magicians skipper Frankie Mackay strangled them with an outstanding, career-best haul of 4-10 off her four overs.

Mackay then narrowly fell short of what would have been a 15th T20 half century when she was caught on a 33-ball 48 in the chase. WHITE FERN Amy Satterthwaite (29- off 20) and Kate Ebrahim (15- off 13) carried on her momentum to steer the Magicians home, chasing down the Hinds' 100/9 with seven overs to spare.

The win pushed the Magicians into third spot on the table, level on points with the Auckland Hearts whom they will meet this afternoon at 3.40PM.

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