Peter Fulton and Andrew Ellis share a moment during a practice match

File photo - Peter Fulton and Andrew Ellis played key roles in Canterbury"s triumph © Getty Images

Peter Fulton surged to the fastest century in New Zealand List A cricket as Canterbury ended an 11-year wait for one-day silverware with a 28-run victory in the Ford Trophy final at Rangiora.

After steady drizzle throughout the morning, the match was reduced to a minimum 20 overs per side. If a game had not been possible - and when rain returned midway through the chase, it appeared a chance - Wellington would have won the trophy by virtue of finishing top in the group stages.

Initially they were well in the chase as Hamish Marshall sped to a 20-ball half-century, but legspinner Todd Astle took two wickets in an over and despite continued strong hitting down the order, it was too tough an ask.

Andrew Ellis on claiming the title

"It"s been a long time between drinks and it"s been tough. Hopefully some of these new guys will start imprinting new memories. I didn"t think we"d play at all, so all credit to the groundstaff. The physio asked me yesterday who would get runs and I said it would be Fults. It was meant to be. Wellington put us under pressure, they are a fantastic team, but credit to our young players."

Instead it could be remembered as Fulton"s day. The former New Zealand batsman turned what was an innings struggling to gather speed - both personally and team-wise - into a surge to 199 for 3.

Fulton"s 50-ball century beat the precious domestic List A record of 52 balls held by Brendon McCullum from the 2007-08 one-day final. He initially nudged to 13 off 20 deliveries, then reached fifty off 34 balls before hurtling to his century from just another 16 deliveries. That included taking 24 off five balls of an Anurag Verma over which involved three sixes in a row.

Fulton added 117 for the third wicket with Henry Nicholls - the batsman who has recently lost his place in the New Zealand ODI side, who played a sensible supporting role with 31 off 25 balls.

Michael Papps found mid-on early in the chase, but Marshall and Tom Blundell, showing all the skills that earned him a New Zealand call-up, scorched through the early overs as Wellington cantered along at more than 12 an over. However, spin has played a key role in Canterbury"s campaign and it did so again.

Offspinner Tim Johnston had Blundell caught behind from a cut and after the captain Andrew Ellis had removed Scott Borthwick to an under-edged pull, the leg-spin of Astle snared Marshall and Matt Taylor in four balls.

Wellington did not go down without a fight, as Luke Woodcock and Jeetan Patel swung hard, but Ellis showed all his experience and Kyle Jamieson produced an impressive array of slower balls. Eleven years ago, when Canterbury last won a one-day trophy, Ellis was 12th man. In 2017 he finished with four wickets and was able to hold the trophy aloft as captain.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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