Papps leads Canterbury to convincing win
Otago 295 for 7 (Gaffaney 101*, Wilson 50, Canning 3-40) beat Auckland 143 (Wilson 3-23, McMillan 3-34) by 152 runs
Chris Gaffaney has long promised big scores for Otago, and when it came it was well worth the wait, as Auckland found to their dismay after putting Otago in at the Outer Oval today. Gaffaney, playing his 80th domestic one-day game, put together 145 for the first wicket with Craig Cumming, a record opening partnership for Otago.
The pitch for this match was the same one used for the one-day international against Sri Lanka on Boxing Day. It had been taken from the main ground and dropped into the Outer Oval, and it provided a superb batting surface.
Gaffaney and Cumming scored consistently at five runs an over through their stand and gave their side a fine foundation. Cumming scored 73, before falling victim to Tama Canning, who threatened an Auckland revival by then removing Gareth Hopkins first ball. Hopkins was out to the last ball of the over, which meant that Canning had to wait to attempt a hat-trick, but in the meantime, Otago lost Aaron Redmond to a run-out in the next over. Canning failed to get his hat-trick, but he did add Mohammad Wasim to his list of scalps.
But just when Auckland thought they were back in the game, Jeff Wilson struck 50 off 33 balls. With Gaffaney still going strong to finish on 101, Otago ended with their highest one-day score of 295 for 7. Gaffaney made his highest score as well, going past his previous best of 79 not out.
James McMillan then rocked Auckland's batsmen from the outset, before Wilson joined in with the ball. Both took three wickets each to have Auckland struggling at 67 for 7. They finally limped to 143 all out.
Canterbury 307 for 3 (Papps 129*, Astle 88) beat Wellington 215 (Franklin 46, Nevin 45, Shaw 3-31) by 92 runs
Both Canterbury and Wellington were bolstered by the return of their international stars, but Stephen Fleming couldn't do much for Wellington's cause as they were thrashed by 92 runs at Timaru's Aorangi Park. Nathan Astle's presence helped Michael Papps play his way out of a form slump, as he registered his second one-day century for Canterbury, finishing on an unbeaten 129 not out.
Stephen Fleming asked Canterbury to bat first, but he must have had immediate doubts about his decision when Astle and Papps launched into an assault. They had put on 168 before Astle was prised out, when a top-edged pull shot flew to midwicket. Their stand was a Canterbury record for the first wicket, beating the 151 Papps shared with Shanan Stewart last year.
Craig McMillan then blasted 30 off 24 balls, and Brendon McCullum, coming in after Chris Cairns was dismissed for a first-ball duck by Ash Turner, hit 43 off 24 balls. Canterbury finished on 307 for 3.
Wellington struggled in reply, losing Fleming to a stunning catch by McMillan for 5. Chris Nevin attempted to provide the anchor Wellington so sorely needed, but he was out for 45, by which time none of the batsmen with him had been able to dig in. James Franklin made 46, but with no one to support him, Wellington went down tamely in the end.
Central Districts 98 for 9 beat Northern Districts 100 (Schwass 5-22) by 1 wicket (Duckworth-Lewis rule)
This rain-affected match provided far more drama than would have been expected after Northern Districts were dismissed for only 100 at Taupo. Andrew Schwass, playing his 36th one-day match for Central Districts, took 5 for 22 in 5.4 overs, his career-best figures. Jacob Oram took 2 for 10 from the five overs he bowled while Ewen Thompson, who was forced to leave the field due a hamstring strain, took 2 for 7 from 5.1 overs.
Daryl Tuffey then produced another of his first-over tricks by having Jamie How out third ball and with Craig Spearman and Jarrod Englefield following quickly, CD were 6 for 3. Jacob Oram and Glen Sulzberger battled through rain interruptions and a recalculation of the target under the Duckworth/Lewis system, to give some solidity to the effort. Sulzberger scored a patient 29 off 63 balls and was the penultimate wicket to fall, with one run needed.
The combined impetus by Thomson, who hit 15 off 19 balls, and Michael Mason, who scored 18 off 32, allowed CD to squeak through in the second thriller that these two sides have played out in the last fortnight.