Nicol powers Canterbury to win
The return of Brendon and Nathan McCullum from national duty could not halt Otago's losing streak and they now have virtually no chance of reaching the finals after Rob Nicol's half-century anchored Canterbury to a six-wicket win at Village Green in Christchurch. Canterbury won the toss and chose to field, but it looked like Peter Fulton's decision had backfired after Otago openers Brendon McCullum and Aaron Redmond powered their way to 42 in the first five overs. After Brendon McCullum was out, Redmond continued fluently, to reach his half-century. Ian Butler, at No. 7, blasted five sixes in an unbeaten 46 off just 20 balls as Otago added 55 runs in the last five overs to reach 168 for 7.
In reply, Canterbury got off to a rapid start as openers Nicol and Fulton added 50 in the first five overs. Fulton and No. 3 Carl Frauenstein fell in quick succession but Nicol and Dean Brownlie added 41 off 27 balls to steady the innings. Brownlie fell with the score on 92, with Canterbury still needing 77 off 51 balls. Nicol and Ryan ten Doeschate sealed the game for Canterbury, putting on 72 runs in 7.1 overs, and reaching the target with five balls to spare. They are now joint-second with Northern Districts on 12 points.