Wins for Central Districts and Otago
Canterbury 329 for 9 dec (Fulton 94, Boam 3-33, Tugaga 2-45) and 410 for 7 dec (Worker 107, Latham 57, Hira 57*, Friday 4-67) beat Wellington 356 (Murdoch 102, Ronchi 95, McCone 2-51) and 363 (Elliott 91, Boam 66, Astle 3-129) by 20 runs
Half-centuries by Grant Elliott, Michael Papps, Harry Boam and Mark Gillespie were in vain as Wellington lost to Canterbury by 20 runs in a closely fought Plunket Shield match in Wellington on Sunday.
The high-scoring match saw many great knocks, beginning with Peter Fulton's 94 for Canterbury on the first day of the match. Canterbury, who chose to bat, managed to put on a substantial score in quick time, thanks to Fulton and contributions from George Worker and Brent Findlay.
Wellington showed their batting prowess too, amassing 356 runs and gaining a slender 27-run lead in the space of just a day. Captain Stephen Murdoch scored a steady century while wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi hit a quick-fire 95, which included nine fours and two sixes.
While Wellington would have hoped to keep Canterbury in check, opener George Worker had other ideas. Worker, who scored 107 off 203 balls, was involved in two important partnerships with opener Peter Fulton and No. 3 batsman Shanan Stewart that helped Canterbury erase the deficit and then race away to a big lead. Two aggressive half-centuries by Tom Latham and Ronnie Hira helped Canterbury reach 410 for seven.
Set a target of 383 to win, the home side, were struggling at 159 for five before a century-run stand between Grant Elliott and Harry Boam revived Wellington's chances. Elliott and Boam's dismissals left Wellington staring at defeat, before a fighting half-century from fast bowler Mark Gillespie brought them tantalizingly close to a win. Gillespie added 36 runs for the last wicket with No. 11 batsman Tipene Friday, who stuck around for 23 balls before McCone bowled Gillespie for 63. The Wellington pacer's blistering knock included three fours and five sixes.
Central Districts 233 (Noema-Barnett 67, Jarvis 45, Bates 4-44) and 457 for 7 dec (How 124, Bracewell 77, van Wyk 58*) beat Auckland 348 (Craig Cachopa 145, Small 5-61) and 151 (Hopkins 43, Nethula 6-55) by 191 runs
Table-toppers Central Districts won their fourth game of the Plunket Shield, coming from behind to beat Auckland at the Eden Park No.2 ground. Asked to bat, CD folded for 233 on the first day. They were in danger of getting bowled out for under 200 but tail-enders Tarun Nethula and Kyle Jarvis, who was the second-highest run-getter with 45, put together a last-wicket stand of 57. Left-arm seamer Michael Bates picked up four wickets. Craig Cachopa led Auckland's response with 145, giving them a lead of 115, even though seamer Bevan Small picked up a five-for.
In their second innings, CD came back strongly. Openers Jamie How (124) and Jeet Raval (77) added 173, and Carl Cachopa made 53. Wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and Doug Bracewell, too, hit half-centuries in their stand of 126 that helped CD reach 457 for 7, upon which they declared, setting Auckland 343 to win during the final day. CD just required 40 overs to bowl their opponents out with Nethula, the legspinner, bagging six wickets and triggering a collapse in which Auckland lost eight wickets for 81 runs. Auckland were bowled out for 151, slipping to their third defeat this first-class season.
Otago 319 (Rutherford 162, Arnel 4-98) and 126 for 2 (Redmond 56*) beat Northern Districts 217 (Mitchell 60, Butler 6-65) and 227 (Wilson 56, Mitchell 54, Butler 4-46, Wells 3-18) by eight wickets
Otago won their third game of the Plunket Shield and are now in second place in the points table, after beating Northern Districts at the Queenstown Events centre. Upon choosing to field first, Otago dismissed ND for 217 in the first innings with fast bowler Ian Butler claiming 6 for 65. Daryl Mitchell and Ish Sodhi struck half-centuries but weren't able to prevent their team from being bowled out for a below-par score. Hamish Rutherford, who has won a call-up to the New Zealand squad for the home series against England, scored more than half of Otago's runs in the response, smashing 162 to give his team a 102-run lead. He scored at a fair clip, too, hitting 25 fours and a six in his 187-ball knock.
Butler was again among the wickets and completed 10 wickets for the match in the second innings, grabbing 4 for 46 and helping bowl out ND for 227. ND were going strong at 161 for 3 but lost three wickets for just one run and were only able to gain a lead of 125. Butler was helped by the medium-pace of Sam Wells, who picked up three wickets, while Neil Wagner chipped in with two. Otago were keen to finish the game off the third day itself, and took just 26.4 overs in their chase to achieve their task. Opener Aaron Redmond made an unbeaten half-century, as his team won by eight wickets.