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February 13, 2005
North Island 237 for 7 (Canning 40, Franklin 38*, McMillan 2-32) beat South Island 179 (McMillan 41, Franklin 4-32) by 58 runs
In a match which was billed as the last chance for the New Zealand hopefuls to stake their claims for a place in the national squad to face Australia, Tama Canning and James Franklin did their causes no harm, starring in North Island's 58-run victory against South Island at New Plymouth's Pukekura Park.
The North Island team fared better than the teams batting in Saturday's State Shield final and posted 237 for 7, although no batsman scored more than Canning's 40. The South Island side did nothing for their cause by conceding 38 extras, the same number of runs as scored by Franklin, who was later declared the Man of the Match.
As in the final, several batsmen got starts, but none converted them into substantial scores. For North Island, Jamie How scored 31, Hamish Marshall 25, Lou Vincent 24 and Gareth Hopkins 23. A total of 29 wides contributed to the extras count.
Franklin provided no leeway for South Island when they began their run-chase, knocking the top off their order an eight-over spell in which he took the wickets of Stephen Fleming, Craig Cumming and Peter Fulton. He returned towards the end of the innings to bowl Brent Hefford and ended the game with 4 for 32 from nine overs.
The only South Island batsman to provide some resistance was Craig McMillan, who had earlier bowled impressively to take 2 for 32 from 10 overs. He batted patiently and placed the ball well in his 41, and with better support he could have taken South closer to victory. Jeetan Patel, an emerging offspinner, took 2 for 32, while Canning rounded off an excellent day with both bat and ball with 2 for 42.
The selection of players for the match was based on where players made their first-class debuts in New Zealand. This fixture has now become a regular in New Zealand's domestic calendar, and will be held immediately after the State Shield final.
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