Guptill, Phillips tons push Auckland to top of table

File photo - Martin Guptill hammered 15 fours and three sixes in his 105-ball 112 Getty Images

Centuries from openers Martin Guptill and Glenn Phillips were just enough for Auckland to scrape to a four-run D/L win against Central Districts, a result that pushed them to the top of the Ford Trophy points table. After Auckland were asked to bat at the Eden Park No. 2, Guptill (112 off 105) and Phillips (102 off 89) thwacked their way to a 208-run stand in just 27.5 overs, before both were dismissed in quick succession off the bowling of Blair Tickner. Sean Solia's 57-ball 70 and brisk cameos from Mark Chapman (43 off 28) and Robert O'Donnell (44 off 33) helped Auckland pile on 392 for 3.

Central Districts lost Jesse Ryder for 1 in the third over, but kept pace with the asking rate. George Worker put on stands of 74 and 125 with Tom Bruce and Dane Cleaver respectively. Cleaver followed up Bruce's 34-ball 50 with 77 off just 50 balls, an innings that featured seven fours and four sixes. Worker struck his ninth List A ton, and was unbeaten on 107 when rain came down. After a 13-minute interruption, play resumed without a reduction of overs. Soon after, however, heavy rain forced the game to be called off with Central Districts four runs short.

In the only match not affected by rain in the round, Northern Districts beat Otago by 125 runs in Whangarei. Their win was set up by fifties from Dean Brownlie and Tim Seifert, before 19-year-old Zak Gibson took a career-best 4 for 31 to run through Otago's batting line-up.

Otago, who were set a target of 260, were reduced to 42 for 6 in the 13th over. Gibson claimed four wickets in his first four overs. Scott Kuggeleijn (2 for 31) and Ish Sodhi (2 for 30) were also among the wickets. Wicketkeeper-batsman Derek de Boorder top-scored with 43 at No. 8, but his was the only major contribution as Otago folded for 134 in the 39th over.

Earlier, Brownlie scored 71 as he put on 57 for the opening wicket with Bharat Popli and 55 for the fourth with Daryl Mitchell. But Netherlands international Michael Rippon, a left-arm wristspinner took 3 for 36, and medium-pacer Christi Viljoen returned figures of 3 for 45 to keep things tight. Seifert (56 off 50) was the only other batsman who could get past 30. He put on 56 for the seventh wicket with Brett Hampton (29), before they lost four wickets in five balls to be bowled out for 259 in the last over.

Hamish Bennett's figures of 3 for 9 helped Wellington beat Canterbury by 10 runs (D/L method) in their rain-curtailed fixture at the Basin Reserve.

Wellington were put into bat before the match was reduced to 27 overs a side. They were 35 for 2 in the 11th over, when Tom Blundell - who is part of the New Zealand ODI squad for the Chappell-Hadlee series - scored 32, and combined with Scott Borthwick (38), before falling with the score on 66 in the 16th over. Thereon, Wellington scored 100 runs off 69 deliveries thanks to Matt Taylor's unbeaten 43 off 22, to post 166 for 6. Logan van Beek and Tim Johnston took two wickets each for Canterbury.

In reply, Canterbury were reduced to 12 for 3 in the fifth over, Bennett taking all three in consecutive overs. Opener Jack Boyle put on 54 with Todd Astle (26) for the fourth wicket. Wickets off consecutive overs, including that of Boyle for 68, set Canterbury back. They slammed 11 off the next three balls as the rain came down, and were 123 for 6 in 22.2 overs - 10 short of the par score - when play was stopped.