Vincent shines in Auckland's victory
Lou Vincent struck a quick hundred to lead Auckland to a 38-run victory against Canterbury at the Village Green in Christchurch. Vincent's 129 was well supported by aggressive fifties from Richard Jones and Kyle Mills as Auckland piled up 303 for 6. Canterbury were restricted to 265 for 7 in reply.
After being asked to bat, Auckland's openers - Paul Hitchcock and Vincent - added 58 for the first wicket. Hitchcock's contributed only 7 to that partnership before being caught off Leighton Burtt. Jones joined Vincent in a 106-run partnership for the second wicket which steadily built the momentum. Jones struck 69 off 66 balls with seven fours and two sixes.
Wickets began to fall at regular intervals after Jones was dismissed by Iain Robertson, but Vincent held up one end. He struck 19 boundaries, and when he was dismissed with the score on 254 for 5, Kyle Mills took on the responsibility of taking Auckland past 300. Mills crashed six fours and two sixes and raced to 52 off 29 balls.
Canterbury's chase started poorly as they lost their first four wickets for 69 by the 17th over. Chris Harris, who scored 71, and Kruger van Wyk revived the chase with gritty half-centuries but the asking-rate kept increasing. Hitchcock's vital middle-order strikes ensured that Canterbury ran out of steam in spite of van Wyk's unbeaten 63 off 56 balls. Hitchcock was the pick of Auckland's bowlers, finishing with figures of 3 for 56.