Stewart shines in Canterbury win
Canterbury 274 (Nicholls 88, Cachopa 69, Bates 4-41) and 251 for 4 (Stewart 72*) beat Auckland 165 (Quinn 50) and 357 (Guptill 85, Raval 107, Stewart 4-16) by six wickets
Shanan Stewart's all-round performance was the starring role in Canterbury's six-wicket win against Auckland. Stewart took six wickets in the match, and then scored a half-century in the chase, as Canterbury passed the target of 249 on the final day.
The advantage had been won on the opening day, after Canterbury put Auckland in and dismissed them for 165 in the 58th over. Auckland were floundering at 96 for 9 before their No. 11 Matthew Quinn scored a half-century to prop them up. Matthew Henry took three wickets for Canterbury, while Stewart and Matt McEwan claimed two each.
Canterbury's response was much stronger, with Henry Nicholls and Bradley Cachopa making half-centuries. They ended the first day on 108 for 3 and then took the lead on the second. The lower middle order fell away, though, and Canterbury went from 222 for 4 to 274 all out. Seamer Michael Bates claimed 4 for 41 for Auckland.
Auckland's second innings began superbly, with their openers Martin Guptill and Jeet Raval wiping out the 109-run deficit with a partnership of 124. It was then that Guptill had to retire injured on 62, and Auckland began to slide. Raval went on to score a century but wickets fell regularly at the other end, and Guptill returned when the score was 251 for 5. He was dismissed for 85, before Donovan Grobbelaar scored a half-century in the middle order to take Auckland to a position of strength at 355 for 6. They lost their last four wickets for two runs, though, and Canterbury were facing a target of 249. Stewart claimed three of those batsmen to finish with 4 for 16.
Canterbury's chase began slowly but steadily with the openers adding 61 in 29.1 overs before the first wicket fell. They slipped to 107 for 3 but Stewart held one end up with a half-century, and had support from Nicholls and Cachopa, to ensure victory.