Neesham stars in Otago win
Jimmy Neesham's all-round effort helped Otago pip Wellington by six runs at the Basin Reserve and pick up their second straight win in the Ford Trophy. Otago had lost their top six for just 97 by the 23rd over, and Wellington looked to have control of the game at that point. However, Neesham, batting at No.8, smashed his way to 55 from 51 balls, hitting seven fours and a six to lift his team to 219. He built a 60-run partnership with Derek de Boorder (31) for the seventh wicket and a 45-run partnership with Neil Wagner (21) for the eighth. Still, Otago were bowled out with 10.1 overs to spare - New Zealand seamer Andy McKay took 4 for 34 - and Wellington had a gettable target to chase.
Neesham would not be denied though, despite Wellington appearing, once again, to be ahead at 157 for 5. Neesham took three of the last five wickets to fall - including that of New Zealand allrounder James Franklin, who top scored for Wellington with 58 - to earn his side the victory. Neesham ended up with figures of 5 for 44, as Wellington lost their last five wickets for 56 runs. Fittingly, it was Neesham who finished the game, dismissing Franklin and Scot Kuggeleijn off consecutive deliveries to wrap up the innings in 39.4 balls, one fewer than Otago faced.
The game between Northern Districts and Canterbury at Blake Park in Mount Maungauni was called off because of rain after Canterbury had made 267 for 9. Former New Zealand batsman Peter Fulton top scored with 66.
The Auckland v Central Districts game in Auckland was abandoned without a ball being bowled.