McMillan steers Canterbury into final
Craig McMillan hit a run-a-ball 75 as Canterbury coasted to a five-wicket win against Auckland and secured a berth in the State Shield final. Chasing 261, McMillan strung together useful partnerships with Nathan Astle (53) and Peter Fulton (36) but three quick wickets reduced Canterbury to 184 for 5. Chris Cairns (46) and Chris Harris (24) stemmed the collapse with a 77-run stand for the 6th wicket and completed the victory with two overs to spare. Auckland, having been asked to bat, posted a competitive 260, built on Lou Vincent's 88 and useful contributions from Richard Jones (55), Scott Styris (40) and Rob Nicol (38).
Ross Taylor struck a fine 121 that led Central Districts to a thumping seven-wicket win against Wellington and set up a semi-final clash with Otago. Jamie How, the stand-in captain for the injured Jacob Oram, put Wellington in and at one stage, Stephen Fleming (57) and Michael Parlane (68) threatened to post a tall score. But Central's bowlers did a fine job to restrict Wellington to 226 for 9. How scored 68 in Central's chase but it was Taylor's century that authored a convincing win.
Bradley-Jon Watling's unbeaten 116 powered Northern Districts to 315 for 5 as they crushed Otago by 128 runs at Dunedin . Watling and Vettori (76), who opened the batting after winning the toss, added 137 for the first wicket and lower-order cameos propelled the score past 300. Otago's chase never got any momentum as wickets feel at regular intervals. Bruce Martin and Brent Arnel took two wickets each for Otago.