Wins for Otago and Central Districts
Northern Districts, who had opened their account in the tournament with a win on Saturday, were beaten by six wickets by Otago in Mount Maunganui.
They started in encouraging fashion after batting first, with the openers adding a quick 21. Despite losing Daniel Vettori, opener BJ Watling and Daniel Flynn put together a further 43 at a brisk pace to provide a foundation for the others to build on. But the next five wickets fell for 29 - Neil Broom and Nick Beard grabbed two wickets each - and dented the possibility of a challenging total. Anton Devcich provided some late fireworks, lifting his side to 137, but Otago, despite a few early hiccups, overcame them relatively comfortably.
Tim Southee gave ND a realistic chance, taking three early wickets with just 28 on the board. But brothers Brendon and Nathan McCullum lent some stability to the innings with a 42-run stand, and Nathan combined with Ian Butler, who smashed a 21-ball 36, in an unbeaten 70-run stand to seal victory with seven balls to spare.
Central Districts prevailed over Wellington in a high-scoring encounter in New Plymouth. Asked to bat, the CD openers went about their task in attacking fashion, with Peter Ingram (70) and captain Jamie How (37) adding 81 in less than eight overs. Unlike ND, who, in their game, had squandered a good start, the CD batsmen consolidated what their openers had set up. Ross Taylor took the mantle, blasting a 25-ball 47 which included three fours and four sixes, and was involved in a 75-run association with Ingram, whose half-century was laced with nine boundaries and one hit over the fence. A late surge from England import Graham Napier propelled CD to 208, which they were able to successfully defend.
They key for CD was to take early wickets, and they did so, knocking off three wickets for 47. Opener Neal Parlane held firm with 69 and continued to be aggressive despite the loss of partners at the other end, and found good company in James Franklin, who contributed 47. The pair revived Wellington, adding 73, but Parlane's dismissal proved decisive in the outcome. Napier was the star with the ball, conceding just 22 in his quota of four overs and picking up three wickets to help his team to a 19-run win.