State Championship, 2004-05 March 21, 2005

Bad weather hampers Canterbury's chances

Cricinfo staff

Northern Districts 218 for 4 (Watling 77, Marshall 62) trail Canterbury 461 (Stead 190, Bond 100) 312 runs

Only 29.4 overs were possible on the third day at Christchurch, as Northern Districts and Canterbury - both of whom need an outright win to reach the final - faced up to the prospect of a no-result that would hand Wellington an unexpected lifeline. In the time available, ND progressed from their overnight 149 for 2 to 218 for 4, with Bradley-John Watling falling for 77.

Wellington 168 (Ryder 81, Sewell 4-42) and 1 for 0 trail Otago 244 by 75 runs

Otago battled their way to a potentially decisive 76-run lead on a tricky wicket at Queenstown, although given the bad weather affecting the crucial Northern Districts v Canterbury fixture at Christchurch, not even a defeat seems likely to deny Wellington their place in the final. None of Otago's batsmen managed a half-century, and at 150 for 7 they were in a spot of bother. Bradley Scott, however, thumped a spirited 43 to secure a useful lead.

Auckland 140 for 3 trail Central Districts 214 by 74 runs

Matthew Horne and Rob Nicol compiled an attritional 84-run stand for the second wicket, as Auckland opted for safety first on another rain-affected day at Napier. By the close they had reached 140 for 3 in their first innings, and a result seems highly unlikely.