ND v Canterbury, State Championship final, Hamilton, 4th day March 25, 2007

Papps's 96 sets up intriguing finish

Cricinfo staff

Northern Districts 65 for 1 and 319 need another 309 to beat Canterbury 443 for 8 dec and 249 for 6 dec

Michael Papps missed out on scoring centuries in each innings by four runs at Hamilton © Getty Images

The State Championship final between Canterbury and Northern Districts was intriguingly poised at the end of the fourth day at Hamilton with all four results still possible on the final day. Michael Papps struck 96 to lead Canterbury to 249 for 6 in the second innings before a declaration left Northern Districts with a target of 374. At stumps, they were 65 for 1, another 309 runs away from victory.

Canterbury began the day on 19 for 2 with an overall lead of 143. Papps and Brandon Hiini added 96 for the third wcket before Hiini was caught off Bruce Martin for 30. Papps fell just four short of scoring hundreds in each innings when Martin breached his defences with the score on 166. Chris Harris rallied with an aggressive 54 off 64 balls to boost Canterbury to 249 for 6 before the declaration came.

Northern began their chase of 374 cautiously. Bradley-John Watling played 26 balls for four runs before Hiini trapped him leg before. Brad Wilson and Alun Evans remained unbeaten on 22 and 24 to see Northern Districts through to stumps.