Hilfenhaus five-for too good for Otago
Ben Hilfenhaus finished with career-best T20 figures of 5 for 23, complementing the 109-run partnership between Peter Fulton and Henry Nicholls, to secure Canterbury's seven-run win over Otago at Hagley Oval.
After choosing to bat, Canterbury's Fulton and Nicholls each struck half-centuries in their 71-ball third-wicket stand, which rescued Canterbury from 8 for 2 in the third over. Fulton, who scored 64 off 43 deliveries, reached his half-century off 36 balls, while Nicholls took one ball more to the landmark, eventually falling for 52 off 40 balls. Nicholls' fifty was his third in five Super Smash matches. Their partnership came at close to 10 an over and had set Canterbury up for a strong total, before they lost 5 for 35 to close their innings. Fulton's wicket, taken by Christi Viljoen, stemmed Canterbury's scoring rate as they could add only 40 more in their last six overs and finished their innings on 157.
Like Canterbury, Otago lost two early wickets - Anaru Kitchen and Neil Broom were caught behind off Matt Henry and Hilfenhaus respectively - before a third-wicket partnership of 60 between Michael Bracewell (38) and opener Hamish Rutherford (38) steered their chase. However, following Bracewell's run-out, Otago fell swiftly from 70 for 2 in the 12th over to 94 for 5 by the 15th.
Hilfenhaus took two of those wickets and followed it up with two more scalps in the 19th over to finish with a five-for. Needing 18 off the last over, Otago managed only 10 runs and finished seven runs short of Canterbury's total. The win took Canterbury to fourth, tied on 12 points with Otago.
Having been put into bat, the Northern Districts scored 57 before the opening stand was broken off the last ball of the fielding restrictions when Dean Brownlie (36) was dismissed. Contributions from BJ Watling (35) and Corey Anderson (28) carried Northern Districts along at a fast lick before Santner and Scott Kuggelijn (23 off 10) provided a late surge to lift them to 197 for 5.
Central Districts' reply was led by Mahela Jayawardene, who had earlier bowled for the first time since March 2010 and gone for 15 runs in his solitary over. He followed up his century in the previous game with 64 off 36 deliveries in an opening partnership of 84 that took just 8.2 overs. He was dismissed by Santner, who then put the brakes on the Central Districts, conceding only 12 runs off his three overs. Central Districts managed only 58 runs in the 7.5 overs after their opening stand, and even an unbeaten 16-ball 37 from Josh Clarkson wasn't enough as they fell short by ten runs. The win, Northern's second in the series meant they remained on fifth while Central were on second place.