How scores double as records tumble in Hamilton
Central Districts 417 for 6 (How 222, Raval 115) beat Northern Districts 398 (Hickey 61, Devcich 54, Boult 52, Verma 52*) by 19 runs
Records tumbled in a high-scoring clash between Central Districts and Northern Districts at Seddon Park in Hamilton. Jamie How became the first batsman from New Zealand to smash a double-century in a List A game, blasting 222 in 138 balls, including 27 fours and eight sixes. The effort, the joint-second highest List A individual score - Ali Brown's 268 leads the list while How shares the second place with Graeme Pollock - was ultimately match-winning, though Northern Districts fought hard in a mammoth chase.
How shared a record opening stand of 321 with fellow Stags opener Jeet Raval, who made 115 at better than a run a ball; their stand was the highest for any wicket in List A cricket in New Zealand. The pair set the stage for another record, enabling Central Districts to reach the highest score in List A cricket in New Zealand, 417. The previous highest was 410.
Northern Districts gave a tough fight, with as many as five batsmen scoring half-centuries, and kept the contest on despite losing wickets steadily. At 182 for 5 in the 25th over, the challenge had grown significantly more difficult for the Northern Districts, but Brad Wilson and Jono Boult added 91 in just over ten overs. Both fell in the 36th over to make it 274 for 7, and at 293 for 8 it seemed the game was virtually over. But the ninth-wicket pair of Graeme Aldridge and Anurag Verma added 102 in just 58 balls. Both struck half-centuries, took the score to 395 for 8, brought down the equation to 22 needed off 12, but fell in the penultimate over bowled by Bevan Small. Northern Districts were all out for 398, raising the match aggregate to 815, the fourth-highest in List A cricket and the highest in New Zealand List A cricket.
How was pleased with his effort. "It was nice to get a hundred, then you kind of keep on going until you expect to get out," How said. "You get a bit of a feel for it and then if you're starting to see it well you try and put a bit of pressure on. I got a few lucky ones away then decided to keep on trying to see how far it'd go," he said, adding that he didn't think much about his record-breaking knock until late in the innings.
Auckland 356 (Munro 151, De Grandhomme 115, Henry 6-45) beat Canterbury 343 (Cachopa 126, Nicholls 51, Stewart 51, Martin 3-59) by 13 runs
Auckland hung on by 13 runs against Canterbury in another encounter where both teams scored 300-plus. Auckland were struggling at 50 for 4 but Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme smashed centuries to propel their team towards 356. The pair counterattacked with a stand of 229 in just 29.4 overs. Munro hit 151 off 107, an innings that included 11 sixes and 10 fours. Grandhomme's 115 came off 85 balls, with nine fours and five sixes. For all the punishment bowlers around New Zealand suffered today, seamer Matt Henry was an exception, taking 6 for 45 in 10 overs.
Opener Bradley Cachopa led the way for Canterbury in their chase, making 126. There was support from Henry Nicholls and Shanan Stewart, each of whom made 51, but at 274 for 8 in the 42nd over, Canterbury needed a miracle. Numbers 9 and 10, Logan van Beek and Henry made Auckland sweat with a 62-run stand in 44 balls, leaving their side to get 21 from the last nine deliveries. But van Beek fell in the penultimate over and Henry lost No.11 Ryan McCone to a run out in the final over for the game to end with his team 13 short.
Wellington 309 for 4 (Papps 82, Ryder 72) beat Otago 287 (De Boorder 68, Wells 57, Gillespie 5-71) by 22 runs
Although the game was reduced to 39 overs a side in Invercargill, a score of 300 still remained well within reach. Wellington batted first, made 309 and went on to defend it successfully by 22 runs against Otago. Jesse Ryder, Michael Papps, and Josh Brodies each got half-centuries at the top of the order to set up Wellington's score. Ryder was especially dominant, making 72 off just 39 balls, hitting six fours and five sixes. For Otago in their chase, there were steady contributions from their top and middle orders, with each of their top seven getting starts, but only two batsmen reached half-centuries. Opener Sam Wells made 57 and captain and wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder made 68 off 40 at No. 7. But wickets fell fairly regularly and Otago struggled to keep up with the required-rate, eventually falling short. Mark Gillespie conceded 71 runs in his eight overs, but picked up five wickets.
After four rounds, Northern Districts retain their place at the top of the table with 13 points, Auckland are next with 12. Canterbury are third with 10 points while Wellington and Central Districts are joint fourth with eight. Otago have been winless so far and are at the bottom.