Wellington beat Canterbury in stunning comeback
Mark Gillespie took six wickets in the second innings and Josh Brodie led the chase with a hundred as Wellington completed a stunning comeback to win by five wickets against Canterbury in Rangiora. Wellington had conceded a 133-run first-innings lead but Gillespie and Andy McKay demolished Canterbury for 144 in the second innings. Shanan Stewart (57) was the only batsman to resist as Canterbury folded to leave Wellington with 278 to get. Gillespie took 6 for 41 while McKay had 3 for 45.
Wellington lost Michael Papps in the fifth over of the chase but Brodie steadied the innings along with Stephen Murdoch (43). Once Murdoch was dismissed with the score on 128, Brodie put on another century partnership with Jesse Ryder, who smashed 82 off 63 deliveries, and hit nine sixes in the game. Though Brodie and Grant Elliott fell in the space of four runs to Todd Astle, Ryder took Wellington within touching distance of victory before he was bowled by Matt McEwan. Luke Woodcock and Harry Boam finished the job in the 68th over.
The win had looked unlikely when Wellington had collapsed to 201 in reply to Canterbury's 334 in the first innings. Reece Young (104) had built on half-centuries from George Worker and Peter Fulton after Canterbury were asked to bat, and despite Boam's 6 for 51, Canterbury managed a strong total. Logan van Beek and Astle then snapped up nine wickets between them as Wellington slid to 201, despite Brodie's 50 and Ryder's 74 off 50.
Centuries from Matthew Sinclair and Kruger van Wyk went in vain, as did Kyle Jarvis' eight wickets, as Central Districts lost to Northern Districts by 65 runs in Gisborne. Jarvis, the Zimbabwe fast bowler, claimed a five-for in his first match for Central Districts to dismiss Northern Districts for 309 in the first innings. Hamish Marshall and BJ Watling made half-centuries to lift Northern Districts to a competitive total. Central Districts were poor in their reply. Brent Arnel and Graeme Aldridge struck thrice each as Central Districts were shot out for 183.
Jarvis claimed three more wickets in the second innings and Bevan Small took four, but Marshall and Watling made their second half-centuries of the game to boost Northern Districts to 280.
Central Districts were left with a tall chase of 407 and when Trent Boult reduced them to 78 for 4, it seemed an improbable one as well. Sinclair (121) and van Wyk (110), though, put on 222 runs to lift their side to 300 for 4. Daniel Vettori broke the stand in the 91st over and Sinclair fell to Aldridge in the 92nd. The rest of the line-up caved in soon and Central Districts were bowled out for 341.
Mitchell McClenaghan led with eight wickets in the match as Auckland beat Otago by four wickets in a tense chase in Dunedin. McClenaghan ended the first innings with 6 for 87 but fifties from Neil Broom and Derek de Boorder helped Otago recover from 56 for 4 to post 226.
Colin Munro pulled Auckland out of a bigger hole from 46 for 5 with his maiden first-class century. Neil Wagner and Warren McSkimming had Auckland struggling before Munro arrived at No. 7 and proceeded to hammer seven sixes in making 130 from 115 balls. Munro was supported briefly by his captain Gareth Hopkins (46). Munro was the last man to be dismissed as Auckland managed 242.
Auckland's bowlers came hard at Otago in the second innings, and at one stage, had them reeling at 99 for 7. But de Boorder made another half-century to take Otago to 170 and set Auckland a target of 155.
Auckland were soon in deep trouble at 28 for 4 with the openers departing for ducks. It was left to Munro to put in another recovery effort but, when he fell for 39, Auckland still needed another 27. Anaru Kitchen ensured there were no further wobbles and remained unbeaten on 46 to bring up victory after tea on the final day.