Otago finish strongly with Haigh hundred
Martin Guptill's century and 94 for Scott Styris put Auckland on track for first-innings points before the final match of the round also ended in a draw in Auckland. The Otago captain Craig Cumming started the game with 105 and enjoyed a 158-run partnership with Aaron Redmond, who picked up 50 after being cut from the Test team.
Greg Todd, the No. 3, missed his hundred by two, but Neil Broom's 60 also helped them reach 418 after losing the toss. With Auckland 379 for 6, the visitors were a chance of taking a first-innings advantage, but Steven Croft's 53 ensured a couple of points, which pushed the home team to seven behind second-placed Wellington. Guptill top scored with 148, his maiden first-class hundred, while Reece Young also registered a half-century.
There was only a 12-run difference between the sides so when Otago went back in on the third day only a quick collapse could lead to a result. They escaped the danger and moved to 343 for 7, with Shaun Haig recording 108 and Derek de Boorder (63 not out) and Cumming (58) contributing heavily.
Todd Astle's 101 gave Canterbury a chance of sealing a thrilling victory, but their last-day chase ran out of puff and they held on for a draw with Northern Districts in Hamilton. Canterbury were in a reasonable position at 238 for 2 in their pursuit of 318, but the task became too hard when Peter Fulton went for 56 and they were 294 for 8 at stumps.
Northern Districts were in trouble at 63 for 4 on the opening day before the 18-year-old Kane Williamson, who recorded a personal best of 98, and Joseph Yovich (65) put on 141 for the fifth wicket. Further assistance came from Peter McGlashan's 91 and 75 from Graeme Aldridge in the healthy total of 430.
Fulton hit back from being dropped from the Test side with a patient 84 from 263 balls and Johann Myburgh chipped in with 61, but Canterbury were dismissed for 265 after scoring at slightly more than two an over. Myburgh then captured 4 for 56 with his offbreaks as the home side set up its declaration and the innings was closed at 152 for 5. Northern Districts gained their first points of the season for the first-innings success while Canterbury remain bottom.
Mathew Sinclair, the Central Districts captain, completed centuries in consecutive matches, but his efforts went unrewarded in a rain-ruined draw against Wellington at the Basin Reserve. Sinclair, who has 516 runs at 103.20 in four games this season, followed his 108 against Otago last week with 164 as his side rode to 523 after Wellington won the toss and bowled. At one stage Jeetan Patel was so frustrated by Sinclair, who was dropped twice, he was no-balled for throwing.
Rain cut the first day to 24.3 overs but the 235-run stand between Sinclair and Bevan Griggs, who collected a career-best 143, put the visitors on top as they batted into the third day. Matthew Bell (75), Neal Parlane (54), Grant Elliott (63) and Luke Woodcock (59) registered half-centuries for Wellington, but the weather cut short the final day and ensured a soggy draw, with the home side 376 for 7 in its first innings. Central Districts lead the competition on 25 points while Wellington are second on 18.