Auckland close in on finals spot
Chasing 181 to win, Canterbury ran Auckland close and had brought the equation down to 19 to win off 10 balls with four wickets in hand, thanks to a 54-run seventh-wicket partnership between Corey Anderson and Andrew Ellis. Off the third ball of the penultimate over, Ellis was run out to dash the visitors' hopes. Kyle Mills came in and took two more wickets in the final over to deliver what was eventually a comfortable victory for the home team. Anderson was out caught by Guptill off the first ball of Mills' last over after top-scoring with 44 off 27. Mills finished with 3 for 30.
Auckland's batting effort had been a team one, with four different batsmen getting past 30. Opener Colin de Grandhomme got them off to a brisk start with his 37 off 18 and then Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro and captain Gareth Hopkins all made important contributions in the middle-order. Left-arm spinner Roneel Hira rounded off the innings with a quick 22.
A blistering 86 by Jesse Ryder and timely strikes by seamer Ronald Karaitiana gave Wellington a 43-run win against Northern Districts in Hamilton. The win brought Wellington to within four points of their opponents at second place in the table, with each having three games left to qualify for the finals.
Northern Districts had got off to a swift start in their chase of 203, with Herschelle Gibbs' 50 off 38 and Brad Wilson's 49 off 29 taking them to 102 for 1 in 10.5 overs. Seamer Harry Boam got Wilson out and Gibbs soon followed, out to left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock. In the over after Gibbs fell, Karaitiana got Anton Devcich and Scott Styris out off consecutive balls to put the game beyond doubt. Karaitiana finished with figures of 4 for 27.
Jesse Ryder had helped Wellington put up a winning total after belting four sixes and eleven fours to get to 86 in just 47 balls. The rest of the batting line-up chipped in with captain Grant Elliott scoring an important 34 and hanging around till the 19th over.