Jayawardene 97 gives Central Districts eight-wicket win
Mahela Jayawardene's 59-ball 97 eased Central Districts to an eight-wicket win against Northern Districts in New Plymouth. Jayawardene's second consecutive fifty meant Central Districts crossed their target of 153 in the beginning of the 18th over. It is the third win for Central Districts from eight matches and they are second from bottom, while Northern Districts sit second behind Otago.
George Worker and Jaywardene put on a massive opening stand of 137 in 15.3 overs, out of which Worker scored 39 off 37 with two fours and as many sixes. Jayawardene's fifty featured 17 fours and two sixes, and even though Central Districts lost the openers in consecutive overs, No. 3 Will Young finished things off with 19 from seven balls.
Northern Districts had opted to bat earlier and saw their top three batsmen score 43 runs together and were soon 68 for 5 before Corey Anderson and Tim Seifert revived them with a counter-attacking partnership of 84 runs in 34 balls to propel them to 152 for 5. Anderson hammered a four and five sixes in his 35-ball 47 while Seifert struck three fours and as many sixes in his 16-ball 39. Right-arm quick Mitchell Claydon finished with 3 for 44.
Left-arm spinner Ronnie Hira's four wickets and a fifty from Cam Fletcher led Canterbury to a 23-run win against Otago in Dunedin. Canterbury went up to fourth place with only their third win from eight matches while Otago remained at the top with 20 points.
Put in to bat, Canterbury relied mainly on two partnerships, both involving Fletcher who was run-out on the last ball of the innings. Fletcher and Henry Nicholls laid a strong platform with a second-wicket stand of 75 runs in nine overs before the middle order was rocked by pacer Warren Barnes' three wickets in an over to dismiss Peter Fulton and Hira for ducks. Fletcher and Andrew Ellis (37) then combined to score 56 runs before Canterbury lost another three in the seven balls, as Fletcher's 61 off 56 led them to 152 for 8. Barnes finished with 3 for 30.
Otago had a similar pattern to their chase - only three batsmen scored in double digits as they lost first three wickets for 29 runs. Opener Neil Broom (39) and James Neesham (24) combined to score 48 runs as Hira took three quick wickets to reduce them to 85 for 6 that virtually ended their chase, and they finished on 129 for 9. Hira ended with 4 for 18 and Ellis and Logan van Beek took two each.
Auckland's strong batting performance helped them to a comfortable seven-wicket win against Wellington. Chasing 137, almost all Auckland batsmen got starts and they were taken home by Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme, both unbeaten on 38 when they went past the target with nine balls to spare. Auckland are third with 18 points, the same as Norther Districts.
Rob Nicol (20) and Jeet Raval (36) put on 51 runs for the opening stand before Jeetan Patel dismissed both of them. He removed Brad Cachopa too, in the 11th over, but that did not push Auckland off track. Munro and de Grandhomme stitched an unbroken stand of 67 in 7.5 overs that helped them collect four points.
Wellington could not get any big partnerships going after they opted to bat. The Auckland bowlers struck at regular intervals even as opener Michael Pollard (33) kept going till the 13th over. Two run-outs in the middle order dented them further as they reached 136 for 9 in their 20 overs.