Hodge, Wilson star in Northern Districts' win
Northern Districts moved to the top of the points table after they comprehensively beat Otago by nine wickets at the Whitestone Contracting Stadium in Oamaru. The win was set up by an impressive bowling performance led by seamer Graeme Aldridge, who picked up three wickets.
Northern Districts captain James Marshall's decision to field paid immediate dividends as Hamish Rutherford was run out in the first over. Aldridge then struck to pick up the wickets of Craig Cumming and Neil Broom to leave Otago struggling at 31 for 3. When Brent Arnel dismissed Aaron Redmond on the same score, Otago were in danger of being bowled out cheaply. However, a handy 50-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Ian Yardy, who top-scored with 26, and Derek de Boorder (23) carried Otago past 100. Both Yardy and de Boorder fell with the score on 115 and Otago were bowled out for a below-par 132.
Australian imports Brad Hodge and David Warner opened the batting for Northern Districts and though Warner fell in the second over, Hodge looked in fine nick. He propelled the chase with a rapid 68 from 41 balls which included six fours and four sixes. He was given good support by Brad Wilson, who blasted 58 from 33 balls with seven fours and three sixes. The duo added an unbeaten 127 runs for the second wicket as Northern Districts raced to victory in the 14th over.