Nelson all-rounder Willie Ludick notched his maiden first class century on Saturday as the Central Stags opened its Plunket Shield defence with a thrilling victory.
A rare, double 0-0 declaration saw both sides push for a result after losing two days to rain at Saxton Field.
With Canterbury chasing an unlikely 353 for victory, the Stags had the visitors on the ropes at 131-9 before a defiant last wicket stand.
Tail enders Will Williams and Andrew Hazeldine came together at the crease and spend 26.5 overs frustrating the Stags as the game headed for a draw.
However, Ryan McCone castled Hazeldine with just seven balls remaining to claim the 145-run win in dramatic fashion.
Day one saw the Stags sent into bat. After a shaky start, Ludick was part of a resurgent middle order which helped the hosts to 301/7 at stumps.
Black Cap Matt Henry acted as chief destroyer with figures of 4-87, until Ludick joined Christian Leopold at the crease.
The pair put on 92 for the seventh wicket before Henry finally broke the stand with his fourth scalp of the day.
The Athletic College Old Boys all-rounder would be made to wait for his first ton, both days two and three completely abandoned due to rain.
Willie brought up three figures on day four as the Stags declared on 352/7.
Striking 11 fours and two sixes, Willie’s 267-minute stint in the middle saved the Stags from a modest first innings total. “I am obviously very stoked to get the first hundred and also on my home ground.”
Willie says the knock wouldn’t have meant as much in a losing effort. “Really happy that we got the win at the end of the day and that I could contribute to it in some sort of way.”
The Stags will host the Otago Volts at Saxton Oval in a Ford Trophy match on October 24.