Southee, Sodhi lift Northern Districts to first place

File photo - Tim Southee marked his first Plunket Shield game of the season with a five-wicket haul Getty Images

Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi took fourteen wickets between them to lead Northen Districts to a 21-run win in a low-scoring match against Canterbury in Hamilton. The win took Northern Districts to the top of table.

Northern Districts batted only 29.5 overs in the first innings after being put in, and were bowled out for 138. Medium-pacer Kyle Jamieson did the bulk of the damage, taking 4 for 32. But Tim Southee's five-wicket haul and Ish Sodhi's four added to a first-day tally of 21 wickets as Canterbury folded for 112 in response.

Daryl Mitchell (44) top-scored for Northern Districts in the second innings, and five others got into double figures, as they were bowled for 186. Canterbury began their chase of 208 with a 62-run opening stand between Michael Davidson (45) and Peter Fulton (28), before encountering a period where they lost 5 wickets for 41 that made things difficult for them. The last-wicket pair of Henry Shipley (26) and Ed Nuttall (11) put on 33 to keep Canterbury interested but could only take them to 186 before the match ended early on day four.

Luke Woodcock scored his second consecutive century of the season - an unbeaten 203 - as the match between Wellington and Auckland ended in a draw.

Woodcock's innings was instrumental in helping Wellington set up 475 in the first innings after being 79 for 4 within the first session of the match, thanks to Cody Andrews (3-101) and Dan Grobbelaar (2-95) who shared the four wickets between them. He put on century stands with Tom Blundell (85) and Matt McEwan (63) as Wellington added 396 runs for their last four wickets, before declaring. Jeet Raval's 84 and his 110-run stand for the opening wicket with Martin Guptill (56) set Auckland up in their reply. Michael Guptill-Bunce then made 109 at No.3, but there were no other significant contributions, as they were bowled out for 374 and handed a 101-run lead. McEwan followed up his half-century with 4 for 80. Both teams scored at well over 4-per-over in their second innings. Legspinner Tarun Nethula took 5 for 71 as Wellington played attackingly while trying to set a target. Martin Guptill then made an unbeaten 128, but the target of 342 was too much, and the 65 overs too little for either team to force a result.

Anaru Kitchen (133) and Josh Finnie (98) both made career-best scores as Otago overturned a shaky first-innings start to take control of the rest of their drawn game against Central Districts in Dunedin.

19-year-old Finnie joined Kitchen when Otago were reduced to 101 for 5 after electing to bat. He narrowly missed out on a maiden century when the pair's 182-run stand was broken by Doug Bracewell (3-58). Kitchen then reached his seventh first-class hundred and put on 61 with Derek de Boorder (45*) who batted with the tail to stretch Otago's score to 402.

Fast bowler Neil Wagner then took three early wickets to reduce Central Districts to 22 for 4 from 19 for zero. A 112-run partnership between Tom Bruce (83) and Dan Cleaver (50) briefly stabilized Central Districts, but they conceded a 186-run lead - in being bowled out for 216 - that allowed Otago to press for a result and set a target of 400.

Hamish Rutherford led that effort - 213 for 7 at 5.39 per over - with a 107-ball 110 studded with nine fours and five sixes. But Central Districts were led by Ajaz Patel (45), Mitch Renwick (48) and Tom Bruce (55) as they batted out a little over three sessions to earn a draw.