Northern Districts win Plunket Shield
Northern Districts have won their second Plunket Shield title in three years after Auckland's failure to get enough bonus points in their match against Canterbury means they cannot catch up with Northern Districts. Before the start of the last round of matches, Northern Districts were ahead of Auckland by 15 points. Auckland picked up four batting bonus points in their first innings but Northern Districts picked up four points by bowling out Central Districts. Northern Districts were then bowled out for 244 in their first innings, six runs short of a batting bonus point that would what would have been enough to seal the title. Auckland needed maximum bowling bonus points to stay in contention but could only get one, as Canterbury lost just three wickets in 110 overs of their first innings.
After a nervous day, Northern Districts' coach Grant Bradburn was relieved with the result. "We have had the title sitting there within our grasp for a few weeks now and it's just nice to finally claim the title as ours for this year", he said.
Northern Districts have had a tough season with eight of their players away on national duty. "We have had a lot of opportunities where things have been so close for us this season," Bradburn said. "All sorts of things have conspired to make it a season where we have earned every victory. We celebrated straight away, we know how much it means to win a trophy. No trophy just falls in your lap."
Edited by Devashish Fuloria