Record-setting Vettori leads ND to a big win
Northern Districts 263 for 3 (Vettori 138, Marshall 95*) beat Canterbury 261 for 8 (McMillan 124) by 7 wickets
Daniel Vettori once again unveiled his batting talent with his second century in two games to lead Northern Districts to an accomplished seven-wicket win over Canterbury in the State Shield semi-final at Eden Park's Outer Oval today.
Vettori, who scored his maiden one-day century in the last match he played, outdid his earlier effort with 138. It was just the effort needed, for ND were in pursuit of a tall target - 262 - set due to Craig McMillan's fine 124.
But on the day McMillan had to take a back seat as Vettori, opening the batting as he has for ND this year, took complete control. ND maintained a high run-rate throughout, even though Nick Horsley and Alun Evans departed early. James Marshall then settled in with Vettori and together they added 193 for the third wicket.
Vettori's shots on the off side behind square and to cover have had a touch of the unorthodox about them. But today he opened up the whole compass and played some superb shots, defying the field placings with precision. However, Marshall too was in fine form and could not be overshadowed. His footwork was outstanding to the slower bowlers and he placed the ball where he pleased.
Canterbury's lack of penetration hurt them, for they tried everything and yet failed. The end came in the 46th over with the Marshall twins , James on 95 and Hamish with the winning boundary - at the crease. But Vettori's innings had propelled ND into the record books for numerous reasons. The score of 263 was an ND record, his own century was the highest made by a captain in New Zealand cricket - and the first time anyone had two in two games. With McMillan hitting a century as well, it was the first instance of rival captains scoring centuries in the same game in NZ one-day cricket.
ND will now play Central Districts in the final at New Plymouth's Pukekura Park on Saturday.