Rain forces Otago-Wellington tie
Wellington and Otago, the two teams bringing up the rear of the Ford Trophy points table, played out a tie at Basin Reserve. Set 250 to win, Wellington's line-up could only accelerate at a run-rate of 3.21. They had made 74 off 23 overs when rain arrived, stayed and put an end to the match. In the end, the two teams had to share two points each.
Otago, who had won the toss, but had only one batsman capitalising on it even though six of the top eight got off to starts. Neil Broom made 54 off 57, with eight fours but his wicket paved way for a mini-collapse. Otago slipped from 147 for 2 to 172 for 6 before Mark Craig at No. 8 hit 46 off 41, with three fours and two sixes.
They were all out for 249 without batting their full quota of overs, and the main reasons for that were seamer Brent Arnel and offspinner Jeetan Patel. The duo claimed four wickets and gave away only 54 runs in 19 overs, a combined economy rate of 2.84. Their colleagues, however, went at well more than double that rate. Matt McEwan, Anurag Verma and Alecz Day bowled 29.5 overs and leaked 196 runs.
Otago's bowlers, however, were able to put up a miserly display from all sides. Jacob Duffy, the 21-year old seamer, came away with figures of 5-1-8-1 and their most expensive bowler, Craig, still only conceded 25 runs in five overs, one of which was a maiden.
Perhaps that was because Wellington were trying to build a solid enough base first, believing they had 50 overs to chase down 250. Captain Michael Papps and Stephen Murdoch were in the middle of a 69-run partnership when bad weather broke out and Wellington had to settle for a tie. At the time, they had nine batsmen left to tackle an equation that read 176 off 27 overs and an asking rate of 6.5.
Tom Latham strengthened his bid to claim a permanent place as New Zealand's one-day opener with a fluent 96 off 111 balls that helped his state side and table-toppers Canterbury to a 98-run victory over Auckland at Hagley Oval.
Latham batted through to the 38th over to set a strong foundation, and though his team lost all six remaining wickets and were all out in the 49th over, they had a formidable 265 on the board. Todd Astle, who has been picked to play Pakistan in the upcoming T20s, chipped in with 52 off 67 as well.
For Auckland, Colin de Grandhomme picked up 3 for 42 while Michael Bates and Robert O'Donnell claimed two wickets each. But any threat their batsmen could pose was wiped out when they fell to 32 for 5 inside 10 overs and were bowled out for 167. New-ball bowlers Ed Nuttall (4 for 50) and Kyle Jamieson (2 for 24) were the wreckers-in-chief. Auckland's bottom five added 118 runs, a whopping 70 percent of their runs, but it was nowhere near enough.
A century from Dean Brownlie and an unbeaten 99 from Anton Devcich made small work of Northern Districts' chase of 225 against Central Districts in Whangarei, for an eight-wicket win. The two put on 198 runs in 32.4 overs to seal the chase in the 43rd over and give Northern Districts four points, taking them to fourth place in the table.
Opting to bat, Central Districts were rattled early by James Baker, who reduced them to 29 for 4 in the fifth over with two wickets off consecutive deliveries. Doug Bracewell (80) helped them past 50 with captain Will Young and hauled the score from 91 for 6 to 192 for 7 with Ben Wheeler (53). Two wickets each from spinners Ish Sodhi and Jono Boult then bowled them out for 224 in the 49th over, and Baker finished with 3 for 30 from seven overs.
Northern Districts were in a spot of bother early, being 29 for 2 after ten overs. But Brownlie and Devcich scored briskly and put the chase on track with plenty of boundaries. Brownlie struck ten fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 107, while Devcich collected nine fours and a six.