The Ford Trophy 2013-14 March 19, 2014

Canterbury reduce Northern Districts' lead

ESPNcricinfo staff

Canterbury prevailed by 64 runs in a rain-hit affair against Central Districts at Pukekura Park. Having lost the toss, Canterbury were led by Rob Nicol, who scored 73 off 71 balls. Andrew Ellis provided the acceleration in a match that was curtailed to 30 overs, smashing 41 off 25 balls to lead his team to 216 for 8. Tarun Nethula, who had figures of 6-0-32-0, was the only Central Districts bowler to go for less than a run a ball.

Facing an asking rate of more than seven an over, Central Districts had got to 84 for 3 in the 15th over, before the slump began. They lost seven wickets for 68 runs and were dismissed for 152 in 26.3 overs. Ellis impressed with the ball as well, taking 3 for 21 in 4.3 overs. The victory took Canterbury to second place in the Ford Trophy points table.

Northern Districts' lead at the top of the league was cut to one point after their three-wicket defeat to Wellington at Seddon Park. The teams had contrasting innings and in the end collective effort prevailed over individual excellence. Daniel Flynn scored a century at the top of the order for Northern Districts after choosing to bat, but his 122 of 121 balls was the only significant contribution. None of the other top six batsmen made it to double figures, and Scott Kuggeleijn's 39 at No. 7 was the only other useful score. Despite Flynn's fast hundred, Northern Districts were kept to 215 for 8 in 50 overs. The Wellington spinners Luke Woodcock and Jeetan Patel finished with excellent figures of 10-2-17-3 and 10-2-16-2 respectively.

Wellington lost Stephen Murdoch for a duck in the chase but their next five batsmen made solid scores. Michael Pollard top scored with 53, and James Franklin made 49, and with supporting roles from the rest of the top and middle order, Wellington were rarely threatened. Kuggeleijn and Sodhi took three wickets each but could not prevent Wellington from winning with 16 balls to spare.

Hamish Rutherford's hundred and Jesse Ryder's powerful half-century led Otago to a 43-run win under the D/L method against Auckland in Invercargill. Auckland suffered after putting Otago in because their openers Aaron Redmond and Rutherford added 165 in 31.1 overs. Redmond made 87 off 100 balls. Michael Bracewell fell cheaply but Ryder put on 75 for the third wicket with Rutherford, who was eventually dismissed for 108 off 116 balls. Ryder finished with 78 off 45, and led Otago to 332 for 6 in 50 overs.

Auckland were 17 for 0 in the chase when rain interrupted the match and forced the target to be revised to 279 in 39 overs. Wickets fell at regular intervals after the resumption and Auckland were sinking fast at 116 for 6 in the 24th over. Sam Wells, who finished with 8-0-41-5, was responsible for most of the damage. Donovan Grobbelaar scored a half-century to prop up Auckland, but Otago dismissed them for 235 in 39 overs.