Thrilling win takes Northern Districts to top
Northern Districts 374 (Devcich 61, Brownlie 58) and 273 for 8 dec (Wilson 77, Mitchell 71, Brownlie 52, Patel 4-98) beat Central Districts 300 for 6 dec (Young 132, Bruce 85) and 304 (Hay 98, van Wyk 62, Young 56, Devcich 4-46) by 43 runs
Northern Districts registered a thrilling 43-run win over Central Districts in Whangarei with only 3.5 overs left on the last day in a match where both teams made brave declarations in pursuit of a victory.
Central Districts, set a target of 348, were bowled out for 304 after the home side declared their innings on the third day.
The visitors began the final day requiring 325 runs off 97 overs, and a 107-run partnership between Greg Hay, coming off a 157 and 80 in the last game, and first-innings centurion Will Young put them on track. But the loss of six wickets for 65 runs saw Central Districts slip to 233 for 8.
With the required rate climbing, captain Kruger van Wyk and Ajaz Patel added 49 runs to keep Central Districts afloat, but Mitchell Santner had the former caught behind with 66 still required for victory. His dismissal didn't stop Patel and Andrew Mathieson from looking for the win, but Matheison's wicket, who was also caught off Santner, ended the match. Anton Devcich picked up four wickets with his left-arm spin, including those of Hay and Young.
Electing to bat, Northern Districts racked up 374, with Dean Brownlie, who amassed 54 and 334 in his last two innings, Anton Devcich and Santner making half-centuries, while van Vyk effected five dismissals behind the stumps.
Central Districts declared their first innings on 300 for 6 after collecting two bonus points, led by Young's 132 and a fifty from Tom Bruce (85). Northern Districts reciprocated with a declaration of their own in their second dig, scoring 273 for 8 with three of their batsmen scoring fifties - Brownlie (52), Brad Wilson (77) and Daryl Mitchell (71).