State Championship 2003-04 February 23, 2004

Otago make the best of a low-scoring match

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Otago pulled off a comfortable win over Canterbury while Northern Districts and Auckland played out a tense draw.

Otago 336 and 143 (Hopkins 50, Wisneski 4-45) beat Canterbury 219 (Harris 63) and 152 by 108 runs

Otago's bowlers held their nerve to leave Canterbury adrift by 108 runs in their State Championship match at the Molyneuz Park in Alexandra. Canterbury began the final day at 78 for 4, still needing 183 more runs to win. When Gary Stead (31) and Chris Harris (19) weew dismissed with 100 still not on the board, the game was up. Token resistance from the tail pushed Canterbury to 152, but it could not stave off defeat. Bradley Scott, with 3 for 39 returned the best figures from an innings where every bowler tasted some success.

Auckland 283 and 381 for 4 dec (Horne 209*, Barnes 134*) drew with Northern Districts 388 (Marshall 78, Orchard 97) and 269 for 8 (Marshall 77, Horsely 75)

Auckland's best efforts at forcing a win on the final day of their clash against Northern Districts ended in disappointment. ND got within 8 runs of their target, with 8 wickets down, when the match was drawn. The day belonged to Matthew Horne, who crashed 209 from just 232 balls (26 fours, 8 sixes) and allowed Auckland to set ND a target of 277 from 52 overs. Aaron Barnes was Horne's partner in crime, contributing 134 (18 fours, 1 six) to a mammoth unbeaten fifth-wicket stand of 347. When ND began their chase, Nick Horsely (75) and James Marshall (77) scored at a fast clip, giving their side every chance of chasing down the total. They put on 156 for the first wicket, but the pressure to score quickly told on batsmen arriving at the wicket. Joseph Yovich (49*) held up Auckland's bowlers long enough to ensure a draw. Kerry Walmsley and Andre Adams picked up three wicket apiece as the game was drawn, with both sides tantalisingly close to pulling off a win.

This match finished earlier.
Wellington 181 and 310 beat Central Districts 63 and 197 (Taylor 66, Gillespie 4-71) by 231 runs

Wellington made the most of some indifferent Central Districts batting to take an outright win in less than three days at Napier, to increase their prospects of a place in the State Championship final. CD, after their miserable first-innings batting effort of 63, faced what would have been a record victory target of 429, but they could do little to boost their own cause after losing all bar Ross Taylor of their best batsmen in reaching 57 for 4. Taylor scored a typically aggressive 66 off 57 balls, but it was only a holding action before the accurate Wellington attack had the final say. Mark Gillespie ended with 4 for 71, while James Franklin and Iain O'Brien took two wickets apiece.