State Shield, 2003-04 January 11, 2004

Stewart guides Canterbury to victory

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Northern Districts 178 for 3 (Marshall 53) beat Central Districts 177 (How 94) by 7 wickets

From the time they were 29 for 4, Central Districts were going to need a miracle to get out of the hole they found themselves in at the picturesque Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. Northern Districts, the defending champions, were well beaten in their opening game by Wellington, but they shut off every avenue of escape and gave CD a genuine pummelling.

Jamie How, who has been one of CD's most consistent batsmen this season, shared a 126-run fifth-wicket stand with Glen Sulzberger. However, even that was not enough to inspire the other batsmen. Sulzberger was out for 36 off 103 balls, and How, left to bat with the lower order, got himself out for 94 off 133 balls, an innings that deserved a better fate.

CD were dismissed for 177 in the 45th over, a situation that Mark Greatbatch, their coach, would not have appreciated. ND got off to a solid start in reply, putting together 63 for the first wicket. James Marshall made 53 off 71 balls, while Nick Horsley (25), Grant Robinson (42) and Joseph Yovich (32) all chipped in to ensure that ND got home with nearly five overs to spare, and seven wickets in hand.

Canterbury 268 for 5 (Stewart 102, Harris 70*) beat Wellington 200 for 9 (Bell 67, Wisneski 4-42) by 68 runs

Canterbury's re-emergence as a force on the New Zealand domestic scene was further emphasised today in their 68-run win over Wellington at the Basin Reserve. While Michael Papps and Peter Fulton have dominated performances earlier in the summer, today was the opportunity for another young player, Shanan Stewart, to shine. He scored his maiden first-class century, 102 off 137 balls, in an innings that ended when he was run out.

He and Fulton (49) added 92 for the second wicket and laid a solid foundation that Chris Harris was able to capitalise on to put the issue beyond Wellington. Harris flogged an unbeaten 70 off 48 balls, including four sixes and four fours. His partnership with Aaron Redmond, who was 19 not out off 19 balls, enabled Canterbury to reach 268 for 5.

Wellington struggling against some fine Canterbury bowling and were reduced to 67 for 4. Chris Martin, who took a pasting in the first-round game, came back with a vengeance and took 1 for 26 from his 10 overs. Matthew Bell did his best to hold the innings together and scored 67, but Wellington needed someone like Matthew Walker to produce a dominating innings. However, he made only 33 before being caught at the wicket off Aaron Redmond's legspin bowling.

Wellington elevated their pinch-hitters, Mark Gillespie and Mayu Pasupati, but they didn't come off and eventually they ran out of time. Warren Wisneski took 4 for 42 from his 10 overs while Harris capped a good day with 2 for 31 off his 10.

Otago 242 for 9 (Wasim 54, Canning 3-37) beat Auckland 225 for 8 (Barnes 116) by 17 runs

Otago found themselves at the top of the State Shield points table after their victory over Auckland at Alexandra. That win came about because of their teamwork. Their batting failed to produce one dominant innings, but it did provide several significant contributions: Mohammad Wasim hit 54 off 65 balls, while Warren McSkimming hit 46, Simon Beare made 35 and Chris Gaffaney scored 28. For Auckland Tama Canning took 3 for 37 while Kerry Walmsley scalped 2 for 41.

At 44 for 4, Auckland were up against it. Aaron Barnes led the fightback, scoring 116 off 119 balls, and sharing a 96-run fifth-wicket stand with Rob Nicol, who scored 33. However, Auckland let the asking rate mount in the process, and they ran out of puff with 17 runs still required at the end.

Neil Rushton did a fine job for Otago to take one for 28 off 10 overs, and kept the screws on the batsmen during a vital stage of the innings.