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Wisden Cricinfo staff
January 25, 2004
Canterbury 309 for 8 beat Wellington 308 for 9 by two wickets
Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain, marked a rare appearance in New Zealand's State Shield competition by scoring 131 for Wellington against Canterbury at Hagley Oval. In fact, so seldom does Fleming turn out, it was only his 59th domestic one-day game.
But even the lustre of his innings, which was the foundation of a record-breaking score of 308 for 9 for Wellington, could not dull Canterbury. Michael Papps continued his magnificent form with 96, before giving way to Chris Cairns, who scored 47, and Craig McMillan, 31, as the team prepared to launch itself at the target.
But wickets kept falling. Though the runs came for Canterbury, one batsman after another succumbed to Wellington. It seemed lost for Canterbury, but Chris Harris and Stephen Cunis held their nerve to get their side home, with Cunis hitting a six with one ball to go. Warren Wisneski was one of few bowlers to make an impact. He took 4 for 55 for Canterbury, while Mayu Pasupati took three for Wellington, but at a cost of 66 runs.
Otago 199 for 9 beat Northern Districts 198 by one wicket
Otago haven't been happy campers in Invercargill, the world's southern-most first-class cricket venue. And today, faced with Northern Districts' total of 198, they did all they could to keep their depressing record in shape ... and failed.
Half-way into Otago's innings, the score was 121 for 1. Mohammad Wasim (52) and Chris Gaffaney (61) were going strong with a 119-run second wicket partnership, before a collapse that claimed five batsmen for 17 runs. Just a little while ago, they were actually thinking of getting home with a bonus point to gain.
A couple of wickets fell soon after, unfairly leaving the last pair at the crease with six balls and nine runs to win a game. Matt Harvie took on the first ball and sent it into the stands, and from there, a victory was in the bag.
But before Otago's convulsions, Joseph Yovich scored 64 off 88 balls to drag Northern Districts to 198, and Nathan Morland did his best to pull them the other way, with career-best figures of 4 for 28.
Central Districts 245 for 7 beat Auckland 236 by 9 runs
When Jacob Oram and Mathew Sinclair walked in to bat, Central Districts' innings was a mess; three wickets down, fourteen runs on the board. Oram picked up the pieces and glued together an innings of 125, while Sinclair scored 54, in a partnership worth 132. They took the team to a challenging total of 246. Auckland's bowlers, Kyle Mills and Paul Hitchcock shared five wickets.
In response, Auckland gave new meaning to collapses, with four wickets falling for three runs. Matt Horne then scored 89, and Kyle Mills provided him with support. Their partnership of 91 was terminated by Michael Mason, who returned to bowl a destructive second spell, and ended with 6 for 25, the best figures for a Central Districts bowler in one-dayers.
Then, Kerry Walmsley flailed valiantly for 26, but his dismissal brought an end to Auckland's innings, just 10 runs short of the target.
Points table (two rounds remaining) Canterbury 26, Central Districts 23, Auckland 17, Otago 16, Wellington 14, Northern Districts 4.
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