Canterbury maintain top ranking with comfortable win
Canterbury 382 (Ellis 142, Brownlie 63, Kuggeleijn 3-104) and 159 for 4 (Brownlie 64) beat Northern Districts 176 (Flynn 50, Henry 3-56, Stewart 3-26) and 364 (Mitchell 103, Carter 81, Henry 4-97) by six wickets
Canterbury maintained their position at the top of the table with a six-wicket win over Northern Districts. The victory, their third in four matches, took them to 56 points, 10 clear of second-placed Wellington.
Northern Districts were bundled out for 176 in the first innings, after being put in to bat. Pacers Matt Henry and Shanan Stewart led Canterbury's attack, picking up three wickets apiece, while the only resistance from the batting side came in the form of an 84-run stand between Northern Districts captain Daniel Flynn and Anton Devcich.
Canterbury's reply looked shaky at 152 for 7, but their captain Andrew Ellis rescued the innings with a knock of 142, his second successive first-class ton. Dean Brownlie chipped in with 63 while pacer Logan van Beek scored his maiden first-class fifty, adding 135 runs for the eighth wicket with Ellis. Canterbury were eventually dismissed for 382 with a lead of 206.
Daryl Mitchell's second first-class hundred led Northern Districts' improved second-innings showing. A late-order rally led by Jono Boult helped the side reach 364 in spite of the loss of quick wickets in the middle, but they could only set Canterbury a target of 159.
Canterbury lost both their openers with the score on 15 before Brownlie thwarted the opposition once again, scoring 64 to guide the side to a win.
Wellington 487 (Pollard 166, Franklin 116) and 82 for 2 beat Otago 339 (Ryder 83, Gillespie 3-80) and 229 (Neesham 60, J Patel 4-75) by eight wickets
An all-round performance from Wellington boosted the side to an eight-wicket win over Otago in Invercargill, helping them climb to second place in the league standings with 46 points.
Michael Pollard and Wellington captain, James Franklin, struck centuries to lead the side to 487 in response to Otago's first-innings score of 339. The pair shared a 238-run fourth-wicket stand, helping Wellington overhaul Otago's score before James Neesham's five-for and a four-wicket haul from Sam Wells restricted the batting side's lead to 148.
The Wellington bowlers, led by offspinner Jeetan Patel, then chipped away at the Otago line-up. Aaron Redmond, Neil Broom and Michael Bracewell made useful contributions, and Neesham smashed a 47-ball 60 - his second fifty of the game - but the Wellington bowlers didn't allow partnerships to flourish and restricted Otago to 229. Patel finished with 4 for 75, while pacer Andy McKay took three wickets.
Wellington achieved the target of 82 in just 13.1 overs, losing only the openers in the process.
Earlier, fifties from Jesse Ryder, Neesham and Broom had helped Otago post 339 after they opted to bat. Mark Gillespie and Brent Arnel were the most successful bowlers for Wellington in the first innings, taking three wickets each.
Central Districts 467 (Trego 141, McClenaghan 3-110) and 232 (Bates 4-31, Martin 4-78) drew with Auckland 351 (Guptill 185, A Patel 3-42) and 174 for 6 (McIntosh 57, Wheeler 2-30)
Set a steep target of 349, Auckland were struggling at 73 for 6 before an unbeaten 101-run, seventh-wicket stand between Martin and McIntosh took the side to safety. McIntosh played for time, taking 177 balls to score 50, while Martin's sixth first-class fifty came in 106 balls.
Both teams amassed big totals in their respective first innings. Peter Trego's 10th first-class hundred and fifties from Jamie How, Kruger van Wyk and Ben Wheeler boosted Central Districts to 467.
Martin Guptill's 185 held Auckland's reply together, even as the other batsmen - save for Colin Munro who scored 50 - failed to post substantial scores. Guptill was the last wicket to fall for Auckland and his eighth first-class hundred took the side to 351. Martin and Auckland pacer Michael Bates then picked up eight wickets between them to keep Central Districts to 232. The match between the last-placed teams in the league finished with Canterbury taking away eight points, while Auckland earned seven.