Lou Vincent century fuels Auckland's triumph
Auckland 335 for 6 (Vincent 153) beat Canterbury 329 for 9 (Nicol 119, Brownlie 60, Stewart 60) by six runs
A 152-ball 153 from Lou Vincent propelled Auckland to a six-run victory against Canterbury in a high-scoring final of the NZC one-day competition. The game saw 664 runs scored and included a spirited century in a losing cause by Canterbury's Rob Nicol.
Winning the toss and batting, Auckland got off to a solid start, with openers Vincent and Jeet Raval putting on 92 for the first wicket within 15 overs. Canterbury followed up fast bowler Andrew Ellis' dismissal of Raval with two quick wickets, but a 136-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Vincent and Greg Todd asserted Auckland's dominance in the match.
By the time Canterbury knocked over Vincent in the 47th over, he had pummelled their bowlers for 16 fours and a six. A hard-hitting cameo by Colin de Grandhomme in the death overs gave Auckland the finish they wanted, and they finished with 335 for 6. Richard Sherlock was the only bowler to take more than one wicket, but bled 9.37 runs per over.
Canterbury's chase did not begin ideally, as they moved along to 52 for 2 in the 11th over. But a 136-run third wicket partnership between Nicol and Dean Brownlie (60 off 66 balls) got the innings back on track. After the two fell, Shanan Stewart's 60 off 47 balls combined with the lower order to almost take Canterbury home, but they fell just short.
Nicol's century made him the tournament's leading run-scorer with 648 runs in nine matches at 72.00, ahead of Lou Vincent, who finished with 642 in 11 matches.