State Shield, 2003-04 January 13, 2004

Vincent leads Auckland to victory

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Auckland 201 for 7 (Vincent 94*) beat Canterbury 200 for 9 by 3 wickets

New Zealand's selectors might not want Lou Vincent in their one-day team at the moment, but Auckland would be more than happy to have him after his matchwinning innings of 94 not out in the State Shield match against Canterbury at Rangiora Recreation Ground, a new first-class venue on the New Zealand circuit.

Canterbury got off to a sound start after winning the toss, with Michael Papps (45) and Shanan Stewart (40) putting on 87 for the first wicket. However, some outstanding bowling through the middle of the innings from Tama Canning, who bowled his 10 overs on the trot to take 2 for 26, and Brooke Walker, who took 2 for 34 off his nine overs, kept the pressure on the Canterbury batsmen.

Vincent's innings dominated Auckland's response, as he paced the chase perfectly, hitting only five fours in his innings. However, he did have the benefit of one controversial call when he was given not out off the first ball of the penultimate over, with the Canterbury fielders feeling he was run out. At that stage 21 runs were still needed for victory.

Vincent rode on that piece of good fortune and was there to punch the ball away for the winning run off the last ball of the game. A sixth-wicket stand of 68 from 81 balls with Paul Hitchcock was a significant boost.

Chris Martin produced another good spell for Canterbury to take 3 for 36 from his 10 overs, while Chris Harris finished with 2 for 25 off 10 overs.

Central Districts 177 for 3 (Taylor 85, Englefield 81) beat Wellington 176 for 7 (Walker 61) by 7 wickets (32 overs a side)

Rain delayed the start of the match at Wellington, reducing the contest to 32 overs per side. The match was significant as it marked the first-class debut for Kathy Cross, a female umpire. Wellington were asked to bat first and they scored 176 for 7. At one stage they were 74 for 5 but Matthew Walker (61) and Matthew Bell (47) added 102 runs off 96 balls for the sixth wicket to give Wellington a competitive total.

However, Central Districts got off to a rollicking start, with Craig Spearman scoring 26 runs off 18 balls, and Mathew Sinclair 27 off 32. Ross Taylor (85 off 65) and Jarrod Englefield (81 off 76) then carried on, ensuring that Central Districts achieved the target with 14 balls to spare.

Otago 214 (Martin 4-28) beat Northern Districts 199 by 15 runs

Otago were all out for 214 after winning the toss at Harry Barker Reserve in Gisborne. They looked set to score many more after they raced to 84 for 1 and posted their 100 in only the 17th over. However, the Northern Districts bowlers struck back with Bruce Martin, the left-arm spinner, taking career-best figures of 4 for 28 from 10 overs. Otago had to rely on 42 off 35 balls from Chris Gaffaney, 44 of 48 by Gareth Hopkins and 29 down the order by Jeff Wilson.

Northern Districts also got off to a good start in reply, putting on 60 for the first wicket. But once James Marshall was out for 38 and Nick Horsley for 27, none of the following batsmen were able to get in and build a matchwinning innings. Martin capped his day by getting a personal best 33 to go with his four wickets, while Joseph Yovich hit 36, but in the end, the Otago bowlers had the greater say with Brad Scott again outstanding with 3 for 32 off nine overs and Nathan McCullum taking 2 for 32 off 10.

Otago now lead the competition with 12 points; Canterbury and Auckland have six, and Wellington, Central Districts and Northern Districts have four each.