3 Jan 2017

Firebirds and Kings into playoffs

8:41 pm on 3 January 2017

The Wellington Firebirds will meet the Canterbury Kings in Thursday's elimination final of the domestic T20 cricket competition.

The Firebirds secured their berth in a dramatic elimination over after their rain reduced match with the Otago Volts ended in a tie.

Wellington players mob Hamish Bennett after their victory

Wellington players mob Hamish Bennett after their victory Photo: Photosport

The match was restricted to five overs per innings at the Basin Reserve where the Volts batted first and scored 48 for one.

Openers Hamish Rutherford (24 not out) and Anaru Kitchen (17) were helped along by seven extras yielded by the home side.

In reply, Wellington lost five wickets before Luke Woodcock was run out attempting the winning run off the final ball.

The Firebirds faced their elimination over first with Michael Pollard's 17 featuring a four and two sixes off the bowling of Neil Wagner.

Needing 21 to win, the Volts could only hit eight runs off Hamish Bennett.

Glenn Phillips

Glenn Phillips Photo: Photosport

The Kings' place in the elimination final may have been secured by rain in Auckland.

The Auckland Aces hosted the already qualified finalists the Central Stags at Eden Park, needing to win or lose well to finish in the top three.

Their case was helped by the opening batsman Glenn Phillips, who hit 116 off 57 balls as the Aces posted 212 for four.

The Stags were 82 without loss in the 8th over when the rain came.

The subsequent Duckworth Lewis equation gave the Stags victory by 11 runs.

The result caused the Aces to slip below the Kings on net run rate into fourth place on the table and out of the playoff places.

In the elimination final, the second placed Firebirds will host the Kings at 4pm on Thursday at the Basin Reserve from where the winner will progress to meet the Stags in the grand final on Saturday.