Canterbury glide to easy win
Northern Districts v Canterbury
Nathan Astle found some much-needed form as he guided Canterbury to an anti-climactic six-wicket victory over a disappointing Northern Districts at Rangiora. Astle's 61 not out off just 74 balls ensured there would be no last-day jitters for the home team after a low-scoring match. Chasing 196 for victory, Canterbury were never in danger, despite a three-wicket burst from Daniel Vettori. The left-arm spinner played an almost lone hand for Northern in the latter stages of this match, after his 86 yesterday gave Northern brief hope of an upset. Shane Bond's match haul of 7 for 74 was a pleasing sign for the New Zealand selectors ahead of December's first Test against Sri Lanka.
Auckland v Otago Day 4
Auckland took first innings points as this match meandered to a tedious draw. Faced with the near-impossible task of chasing down 424, Otago went through the motions, finishing on 165 for 2. Jordan Sheed took the chance to build some form, scoring a polished 86 from 136 deliveries. The match was a triumph for the batsmen, a rarity in New Zealand spring conditions, with 1285 runs scored for the loss of just 16 wickets. Unfortunately, apart from Andre Adams's whirlwind century on day two, the runs were never scored fast enough.
Dylan Cleaver is senior sports writer of Herald on Sunday.