Auckland win after Adams demolition
Andre Adams bowled Auckland to the top of the table with a ten-wicket match haul against Northern Districts in Auckland. Adams has been in devastating form this summer and has 29 first-class wickets at 8.27, adding relevance to his decision to make himself unavailable to play ODIs for New Zealand under the national team's current administration. Auckland are the beneficiaries of that decision, however, and they beat last year's champions Northern Districts by an innings and 16 runs. Adams collected 4 for 30 in Northern Districts' first-innings 169 and 6 for 28 in their second effort of 101. Despite the low scores, Adams said the pitch at the Eden Park Outer Oval was flat. "The new ball seams here, that's all there is to it," Adams told the New Zealand Herald. "If you get through that then you stand a chance. If you don't, you are in deep." The result might have been much closer and Auckland could easily have trailed on the first innings when they crashed to 85 for 8, but a 151-run ninth-wicket stand from Reece Young (114) and the 18-year-old debutant Greg Morgan (83 not out) pushed them to 286.
Matthew Bell kept up his push for attention from the national selectors when he made 265 in the draw between Central Districts and Wellington in Napier. Bell now has 722 runs from four games this season at the remarkable average of 103.14 and will be considered when the squad for the Test series against Bangladesh is chosen. His effort against Central Districts was his highest first-class score and the third highest of all-time for Wellington, behind innings of 296 and 283 by John Reid. Bell's blitz did not help his side gain any points, though, as Central Districts led on the first innings thanks largely to Greg Hay, who made an unbeaten 164 in their 486. Neal Parlane top scored with 134 in Wellington's first innings of 373 before Bell and Luke Woodcock (104) combined for a 253-run opening stand in the second innings. Wellington finished at 468 for 5 and lost their top spot on the State Championship table.
Rain ended any chance of a result in Christchurch, where Canterbury had to settle for first innings points against Otago. A 187-run stand between Peter Fulton, who made 126, and Johann Myburgh (105) set up a strong 397 after Otago sent Canterbury in. Otago replied with 365 but while most of their batsmen made starts, they needed somebody to post a century. Instead, Derek de Boorder top scored with an unbeaten 71. Canterbury were 54 for 1 at the close of the third day but rain prevented any play on the final day and left Canterbury third and Otago fourth on the table.
Player of the Week Andre Adams
A minor technical adjustment to his bowling action has clearly been an excellent move for Adams, who at 32 is in the form of his life. He finished with match figures of 10 for 58 in Auckland's convincing win over Northern Districts, giving him his second ten-wicket match in a decade-long first-class career. He now has three five-wicket hauls this summer and his 29 wickets have come at a remarkable 8.27 as he continues to enjoy the seaming Auckland conditions. He has said he will not play ODIs for New Zealand under the team's current administration but he was non-committal on whether that extended to Tests as well. If he keeps up his form, New Zealand fans might soon find out.