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January 4, 2013
Otago 191 for 5 (Broom 60, Rutherford 50) beat Auckland 190 for 7 (Kitchen 66, Vincent 36, Duffy 3-42) by five wickets
Half-centuries from openers Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford set up Otago's tight five-wicket win off the final over, against Auckland. The openers put on 104 in 9.2 overs, with Rutherford being the dominant partner, to keep their team in hunt of their target of 191. The middle-order batsmen didn't hit many boundaries, but kept the scoreboard ticking, and despite a few wickets falling towards the end, the win was achieved comfortably.
Auckland also played a dominant first innings to give themselves a strong chance to lift themselves from the lower half of the points table. The innings centred around middle-order batsman Anaru Kitchen's 39-ball 66. After losing their first wicket off the second ball of the match, opener Lou Vincent and Gareth Hopkins put on 68 in 6.1 overs. The other productive stand, which built the strong total, was that of 89 between Kitchen and Colin de Grandhomme.
However, Rutherord's aggressive knock in Otago's chase, of 50 off 26 deliveries, shifted the momentum their way. His opening partner, Broom, scored 60 off 40 deliveries, as Otago, with their fifth win this season, regained their position at the top of the points table.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Both teams face contrasting opponents in their next Test series. While West Indies will be tested against stronger teams, Bangladesh have it easier but without much to gain