McIntosh century launches Auckland into final
Tim McIntosh launched Auckland into the final with a furious assault that produced 161 runs and blew away Otago, who tried to make a match out of chasing 340, but surrendered by 65 runs in the end at Colin Maiden Park. Otago chose to field, and were immediately made to rue their decision as McIntosh and Lou Vincent rattled up a century opening stand inside 20 overs. Though Vincent was dismissed for 66, getting caught by Neil Broom off Craig Cumming, McIntosh was in no mood to depart, and warmed up with an 85-run partnership with Jeet Raval that came at a run-a-ball.
But it was his stand with his captain Gareth Hopkins that took the game away from Otago. McIntosh dominated the 130-run partnership that came in just over 13 overs, though Hopkins didn't do too badly in his 47 off 35 deliveries. McIntosh, who had reached his third List A hundred in 102 balls, wasn't done yet. He hammered another 61 off 35 deliveries before falling in the last over. He hit only 14 boundaries, and had to do a lot of running.
Aaron Redmond and Michael Bracewell began steadily in their tall chase, reaching 78 by the 16th over. Daryl Tuffey had Bracewell caught behind, and left-arm spinner Roneel Hira removed Neil Broom and Redmond, who made 69. Otago continued to lose wickets in pursuit of runs, and were out of the game at 193 for 7 in the 39th over.
Derek de Boorder (61) and Neil Wagner (38) reduced the margin in the fastest stand of the innings, but it was too late for Otago. Vincent helped himself to three wickets in the last over, dismissing Otago for 275.