State Shield 7th Round January 21, 2006

Jamie How leads the way for Central Districts

Jamie How smashed 95 as Central Districts beat Canterbury by seven wickets in their State Shield match at McLean Park in Napier today. The hosts passed Canterbury's 162 in the 40th over. How was run out in the 33rd over with the hosts 137 for 2, but the captain had already ensured a victory that put Central firmly on top of the State Shield ladder. Mathew Sinclair hit the winning runs to finish not out on 23. How's innings was remarkable for the fact that the opening 49 runs of his opening partnership with Geoff Barnett all came from the bat of How. Canterbury, stacked with international stars, were woeful when they batted. Lance Hamilton, who finished with three for 33, made early in-roads removing both openers, Shanan Stewart and Nathan Astle with just 17 on the board. Canterbury were soon reeling at 48 for five when Chris Cairns fell to Hamilton trying to fiddle the ball to third man. Chris Harris top-scored with 63.

Otago easily dealt with Wellington with a six-wicket victory in a dull match in the capital. Chasing 227 for 8, Otago reached the target in 45.1 overs with Neil Broom (48) and Gareth Hopkins (9) the not out batsmen. In the chase Aaron Redmond was the top scorer with 63, while Jonathan Trott, who earlier took 3 for 33, scored 43. Wellington's innings never got going, despite skipper Stephen Fleming's 45. A middle order collapse was averted by Matthew Bell who scored a patient 67 not out.

Dylan Cleaver is senior sports writer of Herald on Sunday