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December 20, 2009
Canterbury trumped Wellington by 140 runs at the Basin Reserve to notch up their second win of the competition and reach the top of the table. Boosted by half-centuries from Peter Fulton and Corey Anderson, and useful contributions from the middle and lower-order batsmen, Canterbury posted a competitive 279. Anderson was particularly harsh, smashing an unbeaten 52 off just 29 balls with eight fours and a six to make the most of the death overs. Wellington were hapless in their reply, failing to measure up to the bowling of Chris Martin, who took 4 for 25, and capitulating for 139. They now find themselves at the bottom of the table with two losses from three games.
Northern Districts and Otago were involved in a more closely-fought truncated fixture in Invercargill. ND secured a 19-run win, thanks to the efforts of seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who shared five wickets between them and undermined a fighting 58 from Neil Broom. ND's innings was laced with three half-centuries, from openers BJ Watling and Anton Devcich and captain Peter McGlashan. The three scored briskly to take their team to a formidable 224 for 6 in 30 overs, and the seamers backed them up to bowl out Otago in the final over. Yasir Arafat, the Pakistan allrounder, provided some late entertainment, smashing 31 off 14 but Southee ended the innings to consign Otago to the second-last spot on the points table.
Ravi Bopara was the star for Auckland yet again, following up on his 89 in his previous outing with a century against Central Districts to help his team win by 20 runs in Palmerston North. Auckland, after opting to bat, were in a terrible situation at 64 for 5 - Michael Mason grabbed three wickets - but Bopara, aided by Andrew de Brooder's 55, resurrected the innings. The pair added 94 for the sixth wicket, and Bopara held one end firm, batting with the tail, to take his team to 246. CD were dented early in their reply, losing their first three wickets for just 11, but captain Jamie How fought back with a determined 94. However, CD would regret the fact that the other middle and lower-order batsmen, despite getting starts, could not push on. Left-arm seamer Michael Bates picked up 4 for 27 to keep the opposition in check and ensure they fell significantly short of the finish line.
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