NZ State Championship, 4th round, 4th day December 2, 2006

Northern chase over 400 to beat Central

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Central Districts v Northern Districts
Northern Districts did the unthinkable... again. For the second time in three years they chased down a 400-plus total to beat Central Districts. They did so on the back of an outstanding unbeaten 120 from Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand allrounder.

Hamish Marshall also sent an ill-timed reminder to the national selectors about his ability as he notched up his ninth first-class century at Lincoln today. Marshall's impressive 153 off just 204 balls came too late to bring him into calculations for the first Test against Sri Lanka that starts in Christchurch on December 7.

Declaring overnight, Northern had all day to score the runs but once Marshall was dismissed at 240 for 5 few would have given Northern a chance. Enter Vettori. He combined with Joe Yovich (52) to add 99 for the seventh wicket and 74 for the eighth with Peter McGlashan (16).

Michael Mason, who was named in the New Zealand squad for the first Test, took 3 for 74 off 25 overs.

Central took the two first-innings points to go with their outright victory against Wellington last week.

Auckland v Wellington
Rain ruined any chance of an outright result in Christchurch so Auckland used the opportunity for batting practice on the last day after Wellington comfortably took first innings points. When stumps were drawn at tea Tim McIntosh had reached his half century while captain Richard Jones was unbeaten on 47.

Earlier Neal Parlane and James Franklin had scored half centuries for Wellington after opener Matthew Bell fell nine runs short of a century.

Dylan Cleaver is senior sports writer of Herald on Sunday