Todd's double not enough for Otago
Andre Adams continued his excellent start to the season as Auckland routed Central Districts by an innings and 195 runs at Eden Park. Adams made his captain Richard Jones a happy man after sending Central Districts in, ripping through the visitors' line-up to grab 5 for 12 as they crashed for 61. Auckland then showed that the pitch was not a minefield after all, posting 408 for 9 declared with Martin Guptill top scoring with 83. A first-innings lead of 347 was ample for the hosts. Timothy Weston showed a bit of improvement in Central Districts' second effort, reaching 62, but the rest struggled again and Adams grabbed another two wickets as the visitors capitulated for 152 and sent Auckland to the top of the table.
Wellington approached their final run-chase like a Twenty20 match at the Basin Reserve but they had to settle for first-innings points in their draw with Otago. The visitors set Wellington a target of 274 from 29 overs and the home side went for it: Jesse Ryder opened with Matthew Bell, who made 46 from 17 balls, but the loss of a few wickets sent Wellington back into a quieter frame of mind and they finished at 139 for 4. Greg Todd had made a pair of centuries as Otago set up the final-day bash - he scored 110 in their first-innings 272 when no other player passed 30, and he followed it with 165 in their second effort of 449. Michael Parlane was the other century-maker, reaching 104 in Wellington's first innings of 448.
At Rangiora, Northern Districts' poor start to their title defence continued with a five-wicket loss to Canterbury. James Marshall set Northern Districts up well with 117 of their 318 after Brandon Hiini (4 for 46) rattled the rest of the top order. Canterbury followed with 310 and then things fell away for Northern Districts, who could only manage a second-innings 208 as the Canterbury bowlers shared the wickets among them - Iain Robertson had the most impressive figures with a career-best 3 for 58. With only 217 to chase from 48 overs, Canterbury eased to the target with five wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare. Peter Fulton, who was playing his first game back from minor knee surgery, guided their chase with 72.
Player of the Week Greg Todd
Todd had only two first-class hundreds from 30 matches heading into this week's game. He promptly doubled his tally and in doing so became the first Otago batsman in 23 years to score a century in each innings of a first-class match. Not bad for a man who missed most of 2005-06 after a freak fielding accident broke his shin and ankle and ripped tendons in his leg. Todd says the incident has helped his concentration and it certainly worked as he posted 110 and 165 this week, although unfortunately for Otago his efforts went unrewarded in their draw with Wellington.