State Shield January 16, 2004

Canterbury close the gap on Otago

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Central Districts 232 for 6 beat Otago 191 by 41 runs

Central Districts batted first and benefited from some consistent batting from the top order, but without dominating. Ross Taylor scored 50 off 55 balls, including a six and five fours, to continue what has been a productive season for him. Mathew Sinclair added 30 and Jesse Ryder, on his returned to the team, scored 37. Two of CD's batting rocks, Glen Sulzberger (43*) and Bevan Griggs (33*), were unbeaten at the end as CD made 232 for 6.

Nathan McCullum continued his good summer and took 2 for 28 from 10 overs, while Nathan Morland was economic, although wicketless, with 35 runs coming off his 10 overs. Warren McSkimming took 2 for 46 off his 10.

Otago were never really in the hunt as their batsmen struggled for an impact. Mohammad Wasim hit 28 off 53 balls at the top of the order, while hopes that Jeff Wilson might be able to spin some gold in a rearguard action were raised as he scored 46 off 59 balls, but it was to no avail as Otago were all out for 191. Andrew Schwass marked his return to the side with 4 for 35 runs from 7.5 overs.

Canterbury 213 for 1 beat Northern Districts 211 for 8

Canterbury romped home to a nine-wicket win over Northern Districts at Rangiora, as the batsmen of the moment, Michael Papps, and Peter Fulton shared an unbroken 122-run stand for the second wicket.

Northern Districts had earlier scored 211 for 8. Considering the earlier match at the same ground, when 200 was the winning score, they might have been happy with that. Nick Horsley scored 62 off 78 balls, while Matt Hart scored 30, and Robbie Hart 25. Bruce Martin a rollicking 31 off 13 balls, including two sixes and two fours, mainly at the expense of Chris Martin, who went for 20 runs off his last two overs, which somewhat destroyed his excellent return of four wickets, but at a cost of 60 runs.

ND couldn't get past Canterbury's two slow bowlers, Chris Harris, who took 2 for 26, and Paul Wiseman, who took 2 for 28.

But the message was clear when Canterbury went in to bat and put on 91 for the first wicket before Shanan Stewart was out for 42. Papps and Fulton, who have both been in such commanding form this summer, were untroubled.

Papps scored 94 off 140 balls with two sixes and four fours, while Fulton hit 63 off 75, with one six and eight fours. Ian Butler was easily the pick of the ND bowlers, finishing with 0 for 24 off his eight overs.

Wellington 243 beat Auckland 218 for 9 by 26 runs

Wellington also raced to an easy win over Auckland at Eden Park's outer oval. Wellington were dismissed with three balls of the innings remaining, but for a competitive 243. That was largely due to Chris Nevin's 111 scored off 128 balls, including 11 fours. It was his fourth one-day century for Wellington and gave the side an edge in the match. Neal Parlane scored 27 and James Franklin 39, off 51 balls.

An interesting statistic occurred with three of the Auckland bowlers, Paul Hitchcock, Tama Canning and Kerry Walmsley, each taking two for 46, although Hitchcock bowled only 9.3 overs, to the others' 10. Brooke Walker took his two wickets for 40 runs.

Auckland then lost Llorne Howell before they had scored. But Matt Horne, 57 off 70 balls, and Rob Nicol's 56 off 107, added 92 for the third wicket. Canning scored 27 and Aaron Barnes 23, but the man of the moment as far as Wellington were concerned, Mark Gillespie, ran out Barnes, took a catch off Mayu Pasupati's bowling, and took four wickets for 43 runs himself to give Wellington the win by 26 runs.