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January 29, 2012
Anton Devcich's unbeaten 101 went in vain as Northern Districts fell five short of a target of 294 against Otago at Seddon Park. Northern Districts looked out of the contest at 120 for 5, but a spirited fightback by Devcich and Brandon Hiini, who made 47, narrowed the gap. Otago, who chose to bat, were carried by fifties from Michael Bracewell, Craig Cumming and Nathan McCullum. Bracewell scored 55 before departing at the halfway stage of the innings. Cumming stayed till the end, scoring 85 and adding 116 with McCullum, who smacked a 43-ball 90, an innings which included seven sixes. McCullum was in good touch with the ball as well, taking two wickets and conceding 37 in his ten overs. His strikes dented Northern Districts' reply, but the chase gathered momentum only after the 30th over, after they lost six wickets. Hiini and Devcich smashed 119 in 15 overs to give Otago a scare. Hiini made 47 off 42 balls before he was dismissed by Nick Beard in the 44th over. Northern Districts needed 41 after that stand was broken but they fell short despite having two wickets in hand.
In another high-scoring encounter, at Rangiora, centuries by Dean Robinson and Mathew Sinclair helped Central Districts chase 291 against Canterbury. The pair added 231 for the third wicket before Sinclair was dismissed in the 48th over. He made 123 off 107 balls, while Robinson remained unbeaten on 130 off 142 balls to see Central Districts through with three balls to spare. Earlier, Canterbury were carried by the opener George Worker's 108. He was supported by the middle order, which chipped in with 20s and 30s to take Canterbury to a sizeable target, which was cut down to size by Sinclair and Robinson.
It was a one-sided affair at Colin Maiden Park as hosts Auckland lost to bottom-placed Wellington by 102 runs. Wellington scored 276 thanks to Michael Papps' 90 and Stephen Murdoch's 73. Papps and Murdoch added 144 for the second wicket to set the platform for a challenging total. Mitchell McClenaghan, the left-arm seamer, ran through the lower order to pick 6 for 41. Harry Boam withstood McClenaghan's spell with 37 to guide Wellington to 276. Auckland got off to a steady start, with the openers Bradley Cachopa and Tim McIntosh adding 50, but then fell away. Jeet Raval's 48 was the top score in the innings and there were no other contributions from the middle order to mount a challenge. The wickets were spread out among the Wellington bowlers, with Mark Gillespie taking 3 for 37.
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