Canterbury, Auckland register wins
Canterbury won a close game against Central Districts at Saxton Oval in Nelson, to earn eight points and join Wellington, Auckland and Northern Districts at the top of the points table.
Canterbury won the toss and chose to bat and got off to a solid start with Peter Fulton and Rob Nicol adding 68 for the first wicket in the first nine overs before Fulton was dismissed. George Worker and Seth Rance struck in quick succession, and at 99 for 3, Canterbury looked like they had frittered away a good start. Shannan Stewart and Ryan ten Doeschate then put on 37 for the fourth wicket to stabilise the innings. However, once Stewart was dismissed with the score on 136, Canterbury suffered a collapse as they lost four wickets - that included two run-outs and two wickets to medium-pacer Adam Milne - for just 11 runs, to reach 147 for 8 in their 20 overs.
Central Districts' chase started disastrously as Peter Ingram was dismissed off the very first ball by Richard Sherlock. However, Worker and Mathew Sinclair played solidly as they added 111 for the second wicket, and at 111 for 1, Central Districts looked well on their way to registering their second win of the tournament, needing 36 in four overs. Allrounder ten Doeschate got Canterbury right back in the game as he picked up Worker and Sinclair in the 17th over. Sherlock struck to pick up Michael Yardy in the 18th over. This was followed by two run-outs and Central Districts' chase was effectively derailed, as they fell six runs short of their target to hand Canterbury their second successive win.
Auckland beat Otago by 8 runs, via the D/L method, in a rain-affected game at Queen's Park in Invercargill.
Otago won the toss and chose to field under overcast conditions but it was Auckland who got off to a blistering start as Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Adams blasted 19 runs off the first five balls of the innings. Seamer Darren Stevens had his revenge as he dismissed de Grandhomme off the final ball of the over. Stevens and Ian Butler, though, combined to pick up three wickets between them, as Auckland stumbled to 81 for 6 and looked in danger of being bowled out for a below-par total. However, Colin Munro (66*) combined with the lower order to haul Auckland out of trouble. Munro added 41 for the seventh wicket with Bradley Cachopa (25) and 48 for the eight wicket with Roneel Hira (15), to power Auckland to 175 for 8 in their 20 overs.
Otago started their chase positively with Aaron Redmond and Hamish Rutherford adding 43 runs in the first six overs. However, 43 for no loss soon became 43 for 2 as Rutherford and Redmond were dismissed off successive deliveries. Otago captain Craig Cumming and Stevens set about getting the chase on track. They added 72 for the third wicket in just under nine overs, and at 116 for 3, with Cumming still unbeaten on a fluent 44, a close finish looked in store; Otago needed 60 runs off the last five overs with seven wickets in hand. However, heavy rain intervened and no further play was possible. Based on the D/L method, Otago were 9 runs short of the target (125) at that point. Auckland picked up four points while Otago continued their winless run.