Plunket Shield 2012-13 December 19, 2012

Mills leads Auckland to victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

Auckland 307 (Hopkins 122*, Mills 70, McCone 5-56) and 219 for 3 (McIntosh 77*, Cachopa 57) beat Canterbury 405 (Andrew 180*, Brownlie 75, Mills 5-109) and 120 (Mills 5-38, B Martin 5-45) by seven wickets

Kyle Mills' second first-class ten-wicket haul helped Auckland stage a comeback after conceding first-innings lead and beat Canterbury by seven wickets at Eden Park.

Mills' second-innings effort - 5 for 38, along with Bruce Martin's five-for, was especially instrumental in limiting Canterbury to 120, which gave Auckland a target of 219 runs. The Auckland top order then made a quick dash towards the target, completing the chase on the fourth morning. Lou Vincent (43 off 28 balls) and Craig Cachopa (57 off 45) set the pace while Tim McIntosh held the other end with an unbeaten 77.

The advantage seesawed from one team to the other through the match. Canterbury, after choosing to bat, slipped to 77 for 5 on the first day before No. 8 Gareth Andrew turned the match with an aggressive ton - his first in first-class cricket - that helped Canterbury declare the innings on 405.

Auckland's innings followed the same pattern: They lost their top-half for 58 before Gareth Hopkins scored 122 to lift the team to 307, 98 short of Canterbury's total. Like Auckland's bowlers on day one, Canterbury's bowlers struggled to get past the lower order. Ryan McCone picked up five wickets but not before Mills had done some damage after scoring 70 in a 145-run partnership with Hopkins.