State Championship 2008-09 November 13, 2008

Auckland begin season with a win

Cricinfo staff

Auckland 398 (McIntosh 140, Young 100) and 175 (Hiini 4-47) beat Canterbury 169 (McKay 4-37) and 331 (Anderson 88*) by 73 runs

Canterbury's title defence got away to a poor start as they lost the opening State Championship match of the season, never recovering from Auckland's powerful first-day batting effort. Canterbury were set a fourth-innings target of 405 and despite the best efforts of Corey Anderson, who struck a career-best unbeaten 88 in quick time, they fell 73 short.

Auckland's dominance began with twin centuries in the first innings to Tim McIntosh, who made 140, and Reece Young (100). Their 197-run partnership was a record second-wicket stand for Auckland against Canterbury and it made Kruger van Wyk's decision to send Auckland in appear questionable.

The pair set up an imposing total of 398 and when Andy McKay picked up four wickets as Canterbury were bundled out for 169 the game looked even more one-sided. But batting became difficult for Auckland in the second innings and Brandon Hiini's 4 for 47 restricted them to 175.

It seemed certain to be sufficient, although when Peter Fulton (64) and Johann Myburgh (67) guided the score to 178 for 2 there was a glimmer of hope for Canterbury. But they stumbled to 221 for 7 and only Anderson's late fight kept the game alive, until the final wicket fell with the score on 331.