Auckland prevail in tight finish
It was a mighty close finish at the Saxton Oval in Nelson, where Auckland edged past Central Districts by one run. Chasing 163, Jacob Oram faced the last ball of the match, needing six to win, but he could only manage a four past point. Put into bat, Auckland were driven by Lou Vincent, who made 57 off 49 balls, with four fours and two sixes. His 53-run stand for the third wicket with Gareth Hopkins was the best of the innings. Oram was expensive, conceding 36 off his four overs, but picked up three wickets. Central made steady progress towards the target when Mathew Sinclair and Ross Taylor were together, adding 55 for the third wicket. But a double-strike by Ravi Bopara brought Auckland back into the match. Central suffered another crucial blow when Graham Napier was run out in the final over. Oram couldn't finish it off as Auckland moved to third in the points table.
Canterbury were no match for Northern Districts and Daniel Vettori, whose all-round performance was the highlight of a 71-run win at Seddon Park. Vettori hit 49 and took three wickets to shut out Canterbury within 16 overs in their tall chase of 185. Canterbury's decision at the toss backfired as Peter McGlashan and Tillakaratne Dilshan got Northern Districts off to a rousing start. Dilshan hit five fours and a six in his 28 off 17 balls before Andrew Ellis dismissed him and his partner in one over. Vettori then took charge of two fruitful partnerships - 45 and 51 - with BJ Watling and Anton Devcich respectively. Vettori hit a four and two sixes in his knock, which ended in the penultimate ball of the innings. Canterbury stumbled to 36 for 3 in their chase and by the eighth over, lost half their side for 51. Bradley Scott bowled a disciplined spell, taking 3 for 11 in three overs, running through the middle and lower order with Vettori who took 3 for 31.
The match between Wellington and Otago at the Basin Reserve was washed out without a ball being bowled.