De Grandhomme steers Auckland to six-wicket win
Auckland 352 for 4 dec (Guptill 161*, Hopkins 77*, de Grandhomme 50) and 409 for 4 (de Grandhomme 102*, McIntosh 93, Guptill 91) beat Northern Districts 461 for 4 dec (Flynn 188, Mitchell 103*, Carter 95) and 299 for 5 dec (Carter 86) by six wickets
Colin de Grandhomme's unbeaten 102, along with nineties from Martin Guptill and Tim McIntosh, led Auckland to a six-wicket victory as they successfully chased down the 409-run target set by Northern Districts in Auckland.
Northern Districts batted first, putting on 461 for 4 declared, led by Daniel Flynn's 188. Flynn was ably supported by Joe Carter (95) and Daryl Mitchell (103*). In reply, Auckland put on regular partnerships before declaring on 352 for 4. Their innings was shaped by Guptill, who scored an imperious 161 not out, with de Grandhomme (50) and Gareth Hopkins (77*) ensuring Auckland conceded a lead of 109.
Northern Districts' batsmen extended their form into the second innings. Joe Carter put on a 101-run stand with Daryl Mitchell for the third wicket to get things going. Carter's innings came to an end on 86, while Mitchell (44) and Bharat Popli (48*) chipped in as well. They eventually declared their innings on 299 for 5, setting Auckland a target of 409 to chase for victory. The chase began well, with Auckland's openers putting on 98 for the first wicket.
Once Jeet Raval fell on 55, No. 3 Tim McIntosh and Guptill put on 134 runs for the second wicket, with Guptill falling nine runs short of a second century in the match. McIntosh followed three overs later, his innings coming to an end on 93.
Despite losing Colin Munro a few overs later, de Grandhomme and Hopkins steered the team through the final leg of the chase. De Grandhomme capped off the victory with his eighth first class-century.
Canterbury 471 for 8 dec (Latham 241*, Nicholls 70, McKay 4-97) and 255 for 5 dec (Nicol 87, Brownlie 72) drew with Wellington 332 (Franklin 108*, Gillespie 78, Bennett 5-76) and 133 for 0 (Papps 103*)
A colossal, unbeaten 241 from Tom Latham could not steer Canterbury to a decisive victory as a collective batting effort from Wellington saw the match end in a draw. The result helped Canterbury maintain their top spot and open up a 12-point lead over second-placed Wellington.
After being put into bat, Canterbury's innings didn't start brightly as Rob Nicol and Dean Brownlie were out in the space of seven overs, leaving them at 20 for 2. Henry Nicholls and Latham then added 137 runs for the third wicket. Once Nicholls fell for 70, Shanan Stewart continued the good work, adding 133 more for the fourth wicket. Latham eventually passed a century, and then a double-century, before the innings was declared on 471 for 8, with the batsman unbeaten on 241, his highest first-class score.
Canterbury's seamers backed up the effort of their batsmen by reducing Wellington to 84 for 6, and Hamish Bennett and Logan van Beek took the lion's share of the wickets. James Franklin led the repair job for the side, in conjunction with Jeetan Patel, as the pair added 83 runs for the seventh wicket. Mark Gillespie resisted with 78, as Franklin proceeded to score his 16th first-class century. The innings came to a close on 332, with Franklin unbeaten on 108.
Holding a lead of 139 runs, Canterbury's batsmen produced once more, with Nicol and Brownlie adding 110 runs for the second wicket after Latham fell with the score on 17. Nicol top-scored with 87, and Brownlie made 72, as Canterbury declared their innings on 255 for 5, setting Wellington a target of 395.
In reply, Wellington's openers, Michael Papps and Stephen Murdoch, battled their way to 133 for 0 but with different approaches. Murdoch faced 122 deliveries, but only scored 17 runs, with eight of those coming off fours. Papps, on the other hand, hit 103 off 115 balls at a strike rate touching 90. Ultimately, the pair didn't have enough time to make a result out of it, as the match petered to a draw.
Central Districts 255 (van Wyk 91, Duffy 3-50, Ryder 3-32) and 242 for 9 dec (Young 99, McMillan 3-32, Neesham 3-36) drew with Otago 382 (Ryder 119, Broom 72)
Days after he was recalled to the New Zealand ODI squad, Jesse Ryder extended his good batting form with a century for Otago in a draw against Central Districts. In five first-class games this season, Ryder has scored three centuries and two fifties.
Ryder's 119, his 16th first-class ton, led Otago's reply in response to Central Districts' first-innings score of 255. The allrounder also contributed with the ball, taking 3 for 32 in Central Districts' first innings as the side stuttered to 76 for 6, after being put in to bat. Wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk, coming in at No. 7, made a battling 91 to help Central Districts to 255.
Otago's batsmen did markedly better in their effort. Neil Broom led the charge with his 72, before Ryder took over the innings, finding useful partners throughout the lower middle order to reach his ton and push Otago to 382.
Central Districts's second innings panned out in a fashion similar to their first as they scored 242 for 9 before declaring. The innings was shepherded by Will Young, who fell agonisingly short of what would have been his second first-class century when he was dismissed by James Neesham on 99.
The result was a poor one for Central Districts, who are languishing at the bottom of the table, while Otago now sit just two points ahead of Auckland at third place on 39 points.