Auckland enter Ford Trophy final
Auckland 314 for 9 (Munro 118, McCone 3-48) beat Canterbury 186 (Stewart 71, Martin 5-21) by 128 runs
Colin Munro's aggressive 118 led Auckland to a comprehensive 128-run victory over Canterbury at Seddon Park. The win puts them in the Ford Trophy final on March 31. Auckland batted first, losing opener Dusan Hakaraia with the score on 10. Wicketkeeper-captain Gareth Hopkins and Craig Cachopa combined for 57 runs for the third wicket to help steady the innings. Colin Munro and Donovan Grobbelaar built on that stand with 116 runs for the sixth wicket. The rest of the batting order chipped in as Auckland finished with an imposing 314 for 9. Munro finished with 118 off 81 balls, smacking nine fours and six sixes. Ryan McCone was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 48.
A burst from seamers Chris Martin and Kyle Mills reduced Canterbury to 87 for 5. Rob Nicol (45), Shanan Stewart (71) and Cole McConchie (30) were the only batsmen to provide any kind of resistance, as Canterbury's batting order folded for 186. Chris Martin finished with 5 for 21, and was ably supported by Kyle Mills and Bhupinder Singh, who picked up two a piece. Canterbury will get a second chance in the Major Preliminary Final game to be played on March 27, where they face off against Wellington, who beat Northern Districts.
Wellington 144 for 2 (Ronchi 76) beat Northern Districts 140 (Devcich 46, Flynn 44, Patel 4-21) by 8 wickets
Wellington chased Northern Districts' total at Basin Reserve to book a clash against Canterbury in the Major Preliminary final on March 27. Northern Districts were put into bat and their openers put up a solid 97 runs. However they proceeded to lose their next nine wickets for the addition of a paltry 43 runs. They were all out for 140, with Jeetan Patel picking up 4 for 21.
Wellington started promisingly with a 58-run stand for the first wicket. Once Michael Papps fell, Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliott combined for 44 runs for the second wicket. Ronchi's 76 off 59 had nine fours and three sixes, and allowed the other batsmen to bat around him as he accelerated quickly. Elliot and Jesse Ryder finished things off in the 23rd over, as Wellington romped to victory with eight wickets in hand.