Wellington go top with innings win over Auckland
Wellington eased to an innings and 95-run victory over Auckland that was set up by the 246-run stand of Neal Parlane and Grant Elliott on the second and third days at Eden Park Outer Oval. Parlane's career-best 165 and Elliott's 108 pushed the visitors to a first-innings total of 524 for 6 declared and Auckland were able to scramble only 132 to add to their opening 297.
Luke Woodcock, Wellington's left-arm spinner, captured 4 for 24 and Mark Gillespie chipped in with three wickets while Charlie Shreck finished with six for the game. The England bowler James Anderson's first experience with Auckland included 38 overs and two wickets in a losing cause. Wellington's victory moves them to the top of the State Championship table, six points ahead of Auckland and Canterbury.
Centuries to Johann Myburgh and Michael Papps drove Canterbury to a satisfying nine-wicket win as they posted an incredible 344 for 1 in 76 overs on the final day in Napier. Central Districts declared after Peter Ingram's 79 and Greg Hay's 127 got them to 347 for 6 shortly before lunch, but they were unable to make any breakthroughs after Todd Astle fell for 41. Myburgh completed an excellent game with his 148 from 154 balls, which included 16 fours and four sixes, complementing his opening 62, while Papps struck 134 to secure the victory.
In the first innings Canterbury, who needed the contributions of Shanan Stewart (87) and Iain Robertson (85), looked in danger at 326 for 8 trying to overhaul their opponents' 376, but Brandon Hiini (28) and Leighton Burtt (28) earned a small lead and the declaration came at 380. Central Districts were in big trouble on the first day at 122 for 6 and 158 for 7 before a 159-run partnership between Brendon Diamanti and Richard Sherlock. Diamanti, the No. 8, finished with 136, his maiden first-class century, while Sherlock picked up 64 in the recovery.
Northern Districts had to settle for first-innings points when the rain-hit match against Otago in Invercargill ended in a draw. Brad Wilson reached his maiden first-class century to put Northern Districts, who also benefited from half-century help from James Marshall and Peter McGlashan, on track for 410 for 9 declared and the bonus for passing the home team's 305.
However, any outside hopes of a result were ended when the final day was delayed by the weather, which also stole time from the match on days two and three. Brent Arnel collected 5 for 80, his first five-wicket haul, as Otago fought their way from the struggles of 58 for 4 after being sent in on Thursday. Craig Cumming, the opener, collected 62 while Nathan McCullum and Brad Scott picked up fifties, but the top score went to the wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder with 74. In their second innings Otago reached 115 for 2 before time was called.