Otago win as Canterbury crumble for 61
Canterbury crumbled in their second innings for 61 at Rangiora, handing Otago a target of 182 which they chased down for the loss of four wickets. A result had looked improbable after only 52 overs were possible on the third day, with Otago extending their first innings from 122 for 2 to 293 for 5, riding on Michael Bracewell's 95 in reply to Canterbury's 420 for 9. Otago declared in the first over of the fourth day as soon as they reached 400 after which Neil Wagner proceeded to take 5 for 33 as Canterbury imploded. England fast bowler Steven Finn and New Zealand offspinner Nathan McCullum contributed with two wickets each. Shanan Stewart managed 29; the next-highest score for Canterbury was 6. Canterbury had been in control in the first innings as Rob Nicol's 107 and half-centuries from Stewart, Tom Latham and Andrew Ellis set up a big total. The collapse in the second innings pushed them out of the game though and McCullum ended on an unbeaten 64 with Otago bringing up an unlikely win.
Andre Adams took eleven wickets as Auckland began their campaign with a 19-run win over Northern Districts in Whangarei. Adams and Michael Bates ran through the ND line-up in the first innings, dismissing them for 136 to earn their side a lead of 124. Adams finished with 6 for 71 while wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins ended with six catches. The efforts of the ND bowlers seemed to have been wasted by their batsmen after Trent Boult and Brent Arnel had shared eight wickets between them to restrict Auckland to 260, Andrew de Boorder top-scoring with 64. But ND came back hard at Auckland in the second innings, Boult and Tim Southee chipping in with three strikes apiece as Auckland managed 139. ND now had to chase 264, but Adams was around to trouble them again with his second five-for of the game. Adams struck with the third ball of the chase before Joseph Yovich dug in with a patient half-century. Yovich was involved in steadying partnerships for the second and third wickets but Adams and offspinner Bhupinder Singh broke through eventually. ND lost wickets regularly after that and were bowled out for 244.
Wellington took a huge first-innings lead in their drawn game against Central Districts in Napier. Their bowlers combined to restrict CD to 253 in the first innings with little support for Peter Ingram's 81. They then recovered from a weak start after Adam Milne's opening burst to surge to 536 for 6, a lead of 283. Wellington were 44 for 3 before Stephen Murdoch and Grant Elliott rebuilt the innings. After Elliott departed for 62, Murdoch and James Franklin took Wellington into the lead. Murdoch was bowled by Milne for 103 but Franklin found an ally in Luke Woodcock. The duo added 198 for the sixth wicket before Franklin finally fell for 162. Harry Boam cashed in with an aggressive unbeaten fifty while Woodcock was undefeated on 86 as Wellington declared on 536. Jamie How came good for CD in the second innings, making 187 - three shy of his highest first-class score - in a total of 377 for 4.