ND in finals, Auckland eliminated
Northern Districts 225 for 6 (Flynn 73) beat Canterbury 224 for 9 (Fulton 82*, Ellis 52, Kuggeleijn 3-50) by four wickets
Northern Districts booked their place in the final beating Canterbury by four wickets in the preliminary final thanks to a vital all-round effort from Scott Kuggeleijn. Canterbury were put on the backfoot right at the start as their top order was rocked by quick bowler Kuggeleijn, who is comfortably the leading wicket-taker in the tournament. Canterbury were down to 82 for 5 before half-centuries from Peter Fulton and Andrew Ellis lifted them towards a competitive score.
Northern Districts' chase began solidly as their openers put on 63 before Brad Wilson fell for 33. His partner Daniel Flynn top scored with 73 and there were 30s from Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner as well, but two wickets in the space of four balls left Northern Districts needing 20 off 15 deliveries. It didn't even go to the final over, though, as Kuggeleijn smashed a six and a four in an eight-ball 16.
The defeat doesn't knock out Canterbury, though, and leaves them facing Wellington in a battle for a place in the final against Northern Districts.
Wellington 224 for 6 (Pollard 85, Singh 3-35) beat Auckland 220 (McIntosh 54) by four wickets
Wellington's spin pair of Luke Woodcock and Jeetan Patel, and the medium-pace of Grant Elliott restricted Auckland to 220, setting the stage for a four-wicket victory.
Fast bowler Brent Arnel leaked 60 runs off 7.3 overs, as Auckland openers hammered 74 in little over 10 overs, but the rest of the Wellington attacked combined to dampen the scoring rate. The run-out of opener Anaru Kitchen started the slide for Auckland, before Elliott struck twice. Auckland completely lost their way in the second half of the innings, slipping from 153 for 3 to 187 for 9.
There was never any problem in the chase, especially after the Wellington openers, Michael Pollard and Michael Papps, put on 134 at quicker than a run a ball, setting up a clash with Canterbury for a place in the final.