Ford Trophy 2014-15 December 30, 2014

All-round Nathan McCullum sinks Wellington

ESPNcricinfo staff

A four-wicket haul from Mitchell McClenaghan, followed by fifties from Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol and Craig Cachopa helped Auckland sink Canterbury by seven wickets at Eden Park Outer Oval. Canterbury, opting to bat, began brightly as Henry Nicholls (60) and Neil Broom (54) both raised half-centuries during a 108-run stand for the second wicket.

Canterbury were well-placed at 127 for 1, but Broom's wicket in the 26th over triggered a slide that saw the team lose their last nine wickets for just 72 runs. McClenaghan picked up 4 for 39, while Colin de Grandhomme and Tarun Nethula snared two wickets apiece to bundle Canterbury out for 199 in 45.3 overs.

Auckland were comfortable throughout the chase, and two 50-plus partnerships saw the team home inside 33 overs. Guptill (55) and Anaru Kitchen first put up an opening stand of 68, but both batsmen were dismissed by the 16th over. However, Nicol and Craig Cachopa's 81-run association for the third wicket helped complete a straightforward win. Craig Cachopa was removed towards the end of the chase for 51, with eight fours and a six, but Nicol stayed unbeaten on 59, with five fours and three sixes.

An all-round effort from Nathan McCullum helped Otago edge past Wellington at Queenstown Events Centre. McCullum first slammed 119, and then picked up three crucial wickets, as Otago won by 16 runs. Otago, after being inserted, were struggling at 65 for 4 following a burst from Grant Elliott (4 for 46), but McCullum and Iain Robertson (62) counterattacked with a 150-run, fifth-wicket partnership. That stand, followed by a 20-ball 30 from Josh Finnie propelled the team to 286 for 8.

Wellington lost three early wickets in their chase, but Grant Elliott and James Franklin steadied the innings with a 61-run stand. Otago fought back with two more quick wickets, but Franklin and A Day once again wrested the initiative with a sixth-wicket association which yielded 88 runs. At 231 for 5 with seven overs still left, Otago would have fancied their chances, but Day's wicket for 50 in the 44th over turned the tide, as the team lost four wickets for just four runs. Sam Wells collected 3 for 41, including two wickets in the 45th over, as Otago were restricted to 270 for 9, and Franklin left stranded on 98.

A century from George Worker went in vain, as Central Districts fell short against Northern Districts by 13 runs. Chasing 298, Worker's 100 and his 95-run partnership with Will Young (65) had Central Districts well-placed at 184 for 2 in the 33rd over. However, once Worker was dismissed by Ish Sodhi, Central Districts lost their way, with their final eight wickets falling for just 100 runs. Jono Boult was the pick of Northern Districts' bowlers, taking 3 for 64, while Sodhi, Scott Kuggeleijn and Mitchell Santner shared six wickets between them.

Earlier, Northern Districts had recovered from a shaky start to power their way to 297 for 9. Their innings was built around half-centuries from Jono Hickey (67) and Santner (86), and their 85-run partnership for the fifth wicket. For Central Districts, Seth Rance (3 for 45) and Andrew Mathieson (3 for 67) took three wickets apiece.

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