Canterbury hold nerve for 10-run win
Canterbury 223 (Latham 92, McKay 4-54) and 376 for 8 dec (Ellis 109, Brownlie 83) beat Wellington 130 (Papps 44*, Bennett 4-45) and 459 (Papps 183*, Woodcock 51) by ten runs
An unbeaten 183 from Michael Papps - his 25th first-class ton - took Wellington close to overhauling 470 for a famous win, but the team fell ten runs short against Canterbury in Rangiora.
Chasing a mammoth total, Wellington were propelled by a 139-run stand for the fifth wicket between Papps and Luke Woodcock, who made 51. Woodcock departed in the 77th over, but Papps, who struck 26 fours during his innings, carried the innings to 459 with the tail. Papps and Brent Arnel were the last two batsmen at the crease and, having added 37, they seemed to be heading towards an unlikely victory. However, Arnel was bowled by Hamish Bennett, giving Canterbury their second win of the season. Bennett had made a contribution with the ball in the first innings as well, finishing with 4 for 45 to bowl Wellington out for 130 and secure Canterbury a first-innings lead of 93.
The reason Wellington had to chase such a big total was due to a century from the Canterbury captain Andrew Ellis in the second innings. His 109 had helped the team to 376 after they had been reduced to 187 for 6. It was a substantial improvement on Canterbury's first innings, when they were bundled out for 223, with Tom Latham's 92 being the only big score of note.
Central Districts 402 for 7 dec (Young 87, Hay 83) drew with Auckland 253 for 4 (Raval 69, Guptill 74)
Rain washed out the first two days in Auckland, consigning their game against Central Districts to a draw. The visitors took five points from the contest, while Auckland earned four.
Central Districts, who were put in to bat, began their innings on the third day and produced a strong performance. Four of their top five batsmen made half-centuries, with Will Young and Greg Hay making 87 and 83, the top scores of the innings. They declared only on the fourth day, having scored 402 for 7 in 108.5 overs. Michael Bates was the best bowler for Auckland, taking 3 for 61.
Auckland's reply was also strong: their top three made half-centuries. Jeet Raval and Martin Guptill ad a century opening stand, and Anaru Kitchen made 59 at No. 3. Auckland had progressed to 253 for 4 when the game ended in a draw.
Otago 93 for 6 dec (Broom 22, Kuggeleijn 3-26) and 283 (Ryder 80, McCullum 55, Aldridge 4-50) drew with Northern Districts 223 for 8 dec (Flynn 78, Wilson 64, Craig 3-51) and 124 for 7 (Neesham 5-65)
Northern Districts and Otago played out a draw in a low-scoring encounter in Whangarei that was marred by rain completely washing out play in the first two days. Northern Districts needed 154 to win, but their chase was stalled by wickets at regular intervals from James Neesham, who finished with 5 for 65. In the end, the team finished at 124 for 7, 30 runs shy of what would have been their second victory of the campaign.
Despite the rain delay, Northern Districts will feel that this was a game they perhaps should've won, after securing a first-innings lead of 130, thanks to fifties from the openers Brad Wilson and Daniel Flynn, which lifted them to 223. This had followed after Otago, put in to bat, declared at 93 for 6 on the third day, with their top order all making starts, but failing to push on for bigger scores.
Otago however fared much better in the second innings, posting 288 thanks to a 92-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Nathan McCullum and Jesse Ryder, who top-scored with 80. Graeme Aldridge was the pick of the bowlers for Northern Districts, finishing with 4 for 50.