Central Districts knock aside Canterbury
Central Districts beat Canterbury with a day to spare to get their first success of the Plunket Shield in Rangiora. Having enforced the follow-on, CD bowled Canterbury out for 180, a lead of 26, and knocked off the runs without fuss. The openers Peter Ingram and Jamie How needed just 3.5 overs to chase down the required 27.
The win was put in motion by a first-innings score of 325, aided by How's 90 and 50 from Mathew Sinclair. Sinclair followed that fine innings by taking a career-best 3 for 29 in Canterbury's first innings and added another on the final day of the match. Michael Mason wrecked Canterbury in their second innings, taking 5 for 42 to make it seven for the game. Ewen Thompson and Seth Rance took five and four wickets in the match respectively. Canterbury's failure to notch up significant partnerships in either innings hurt them.
Dermot Reeve, CD's coach, was very pleased after the win. "We did well to get over 300 runs and we took all our catches. It was pleasing to see the fielders backing up the bowlers," he told NZPA. "Mathew's under-rated with the ball, he bowls a nagging line and length and hits the seam and on certain pitches he can do a good job with the ball."
Otago surged to their first win of the tournament with a nine-wicket win over Wellington in Queenstown. Wellington took early control of the match by declaring at 391 for 6, thanks largely to Stewart Rhodes' unbeaten 142 on debut, but centuries from Neil Broom and Sam Wells carried the hosts to 471 for 9. After that dominant batting force, Otago's bowlers bowled Wellington out for 203 in 62.2 overs. Only the opener Josh Brodie, who followed his first-innings 76 with 70, and Lance Woodcock (47) did much in the second innings. Set a target of 124, Otago eased home by nine wickets. The captain Craig Cumming hit an unbeaten 53 and was partnered to victory by Shaun Haig, who made 52 from 65 balls. With this win, Otago took maximum points and joined Central Districts on 10 points in fourth place.
A rain-affected affair at Colin Maiden Park went Northern Districts' way after they beat hosts Auckland by 55 runs. Two and a half days of play were lost to rain and the two captains, James Marshall and Gareth Hopkins, tried force a result. Resuming their first innings at 82 for 0 on the fourth morning, ND quickly posted 290 for 3 before declaring. Hopkins forfeited Auckland's first innings and Marshall reciprocated by forfeiting his side's second innings, leaving Auckland 291 to achieve their first win. It was not to be, with Graeme Aldridge (4 for 67) and Brent Arnel (3 for 52) running through the line-up. Hopkins' 22nd first-class half-century was snapped when he went lbw to Arnel, and with that went Auckland's chances at winning.
ND's attempt at racking up quick runs were aided by BJ Watling's 136 off 169 balls. He and Brad Wilson (47) put on 101 runs for the first wicket, after which Marshall came to the middle and helped add 50 in 51 balls. This was ND's third of the season and kept them on top of the standings with 26 points, 12 ahead of Wellington in second with six rounds to go.