Smith, Young set up massive Central Districts win
Third-innings eighties from Ben Smith and Will Young helped Central Districts pull away to a 245-run win over Auckland at Eden Park. Smith and Young put on 146 for the third wicket, and four other 20-plus scores lower down the order helped Central Districts set a target of 376. Auckland never got close, with the new-ball pair of Doug Bracewell and Ben Wheeler picking up three wickets each, for the second time in the match, to bowl them out for 130.
Both first innings had produced low scores, with eighteen wickets falling on the first day. Matthew Quinn and Michael Bates combined to bowl out Central Districts, who had been sent in to bat, for 159, before Bracewell and Wheeler returned the favour to skittle Auckland out for 117. Auckland were well in the game when Quinn struck with successive deliveries to reduce Central Districts to 11 for 2, but the Smith-Young stand turned the tide. Smith made 89 off 195 balls and Young 87 off 171, with each of them collecting 10 fours.
A five-wicket haul from Neil Wagner proved decisive as Otago beat Canterbury by 82 runs in Rangiora. Replying to Otago's first-innings 369 - which contained half-centuries from Aaron Redmond, Michael Bracewell and Mark Craig - Canterbury were bowled out for 201, Wagner finishing with figures of 5 for 76.
Opener Ronnie Hira put Canterbury in a strong position with a 125-ball 100, studded with 15 fours and a six, but his dismissal triggered a collapse that saw the last eight wickets fall for 46 runs. The first-innings lead of 159 was to prove crucial, as Otago managed to set Canterbury a daunting total despite folding for 139 in their second innings, with Hamish Bennett picking up four wickets.
Chasing 299, Canterbury were in with a shot at 98 for 2, before Wagner dismissed Peter Fulton to break an 82-run stand with Neil Broom. Broom was out for 58 after the addition of nine runs to Canterbury's total, and wickets fell steadily thereafter. Henry Nicholls was the only batsman to resist, before he was last out for a 107-ball 59.