Evans guides Northern Districts to title
Northern Districts 319 and 258 for 2 (Evans 104*, H Marshall 80*) drew with Canterbury 443 for 8 dec and 249 for 6 dec
Alun Evans and Hamish Marshall earned Northern Districts the State Championship title after batting Canterbury out of the game with a 149-run partnership. Evans, who made his first century of the season, was unbeaten on 104 and Marshall was on 80 when play was abandoned.
The captains, James Marshall and Chris Harris, agreed to the draw - as good as a win for Northern Districts - at tea on the final day, with Canterbury needing an unlikely eight wickets and Northern Districts 116 for victory. It was Northern Districts' first title since 1999-2000 and only their fifth in the competition's history.
Chasing 374, the home side eased to 258 for 2 at the last break. Hamish Marshall, who was expected to depart for the Caribbean as a World Cup replacement for Lou Vincent, made the most of his last innings before flying out.
Marshall's 113-ball effort featured 14 fours and left him second only to Michael Papps on the competition's run tally in 2006-07. Evans was slower - he batted for nearly five hours - but he did all his side required after Brandon Hiini snared an early breakthrough late on day four.
Northern Districts lost only one wicket on the final day, when Brad Wilson was bowled by Andrew Ellis for 43. The title completed a remarkable turnaround for Northern Districts, who last season finished on the bottom of the table with no victories.