Otago and Auckland breeze to victories
Auckland kept Wellington at the bottom of the points table, beating them by seven wickets at Basin Reserve. Wellington, having won only one game in six before this, chose to bat but could not bat out their 50.
They were bowled out in 49.1 overs; only few of their batsmen got into double digits, and those who did could kick on to big scores. The top scorer was opener Michael Pollard, with 51. It took a cameo from No. 10 Dane Hutchinson - 35 off 43 - to get them in the vicinity of 200; they finished with 199. The medium pace of Colin de Grandehomme proved most effective for Auckland, and he finished with 4 for 37 in his ten.
An opening stand of 142 between Michael Guptill-Bunce and Brad Cachopa all but sealed the result, and despite neither batsman getting to triple digits - Guptill-Bunce made 66 while Cachopa top scored with 85 - Auckland eased home with seven wickets and 11 overs to spare.
Otago made short work of Northern Districts in Dunedin, dismissing them for 181 and then chasing down the target with 22.2 overs to spare. It was only Otago's second win in seven games in the Ford Trophy.
Northern Districts lost Joe Carter before they had scored after they were sent in to bat, but were steadied by a 73-run second wicket partnership between Daniel Flynn and Dean Brownlie, whose 44 was the top score of the innings. After that stand was broken, though, in the 19th over, the collapse began. They slipped from 73 for 1 to 115 for 6, and then again from 153 for 6 to 181 all out in 46.1 overs. Jacob Duffy and Sam Wells took three wickets each for Otago.
Otago lost opener Anaru Kitchen early in the chase but the rest of the top order fired. Michael Bracewell made 60 off 49 balls, Neil Broom 69 off 76 not out, and Hamish Rutherford an unbeaten 47 off 39 as Otago completed the chase with eight wickets in hand in the 28th over.
Only 18.3 overs of play were possible in Christchurch, where rain washed out the match between Canterbury and Central Districts. The hosts were in charge before the end came early, reducing Central Districts to 110 for 4. Kyle Jamieson had taken 2 for 23 for Canterbury. The teams shared points, getting two each, meaning Canterbury grew their already big lead at No. 1 on the points table to nine points - ensuring them a spot in the playoffs - while Central Districts stayed No. 2 ahead of Auckland.