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December 31, 2011
Otago's top order fired to negate Brendan Taylor's century and take their team to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Wellington at the Queenstown Event Centre. Otago paced their chase of 171 well. Opener Aaron Redmond played the anchor role and stuck around till the 16th over. His opening partner, English import Dimitri Mascarenhas, provided the early impetus with a 25-ball 41. Brendon McCullum then kept the run-rate around the 9-an-over mark with his 36 off 20 balls. McCullum and Mascarenhas both hit four sixes each while Redmond gathered runs at around a run-a-ball. When Redmond was dismissed for 48, Otago were well on course for a victory and Craig Cumming took them home with eight balls to spare.
The impressive batting performance from Otago meant Zimbabwe captain Taylor's 101 off just 58 balls went in vain. Wellington were hampered by a sluggish start: their openers failed to get going, then James Franklin hung around for 20 balls to score just 10, and when he was dismissed Wellington were 46 for 3 in 8.4 overs. The next 11.2 overs yielded 124 runs to help them get to a competitive total. Taylor, coming off a half-century in Wellington's last game, hit five sixes and eight fours in his hundred, the first of this season's HRV Cup. Grant Elliott scored 49 off 31 balls from the other end but the recovery was not enough to beat Otago.
Weather reduced the match at Blake Park to a five-over affair, and some quick runs from Brendon Diamanti and tight bowling from their bowlers gave Canterbury a 16-run win over Northern Districts. Diamanti's 29 not out off 13 balls formed the bulk of Canterbury's score of 49 for 4 from their five overs. Daniel Vettori was the best of Northern District's bowlers on his return from injury, taking two wickets and conceding just six runs in his over. Vettori, though, started too slowly while opening the batting in the chase, and when he was dismissed for 5 off 10 balls, Northern Districts were left with 30 to get off the last over. Diamanti followed up his batting effort by conceding just one run in his over.
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