Cumming lifts Otago to top spot

Otago charged to No. 1 on the points table with a 10-run win against Northern Districts (ND) at Queen's Park in Invercargill. Otago batted first and were boosted by a late-over blitz from Craig Cumming and Neil Broom, who combined well for the third wicket to lift them up to 160 for 3. They added 92 after Otago looked on edge at 62 for 2 in the 10th over. However, Cumming took charge in the last stages and ended with 56 not out from 32 balls, including six fours and three sixes. Broom had to battle harder for his 41 from 37 balls with three fours and a six.

ND were off on the wrong foot during the reply, with opener Anton Devcich departing for 2. BJ Watling succumbed to Yasir Arafat for 20 and Michael Parlane was run out by Nathan McCullum to leave ND at 38 for 3 in the seventh over. McCullum went on to remove James Marshall and Daniel Vettori to finish with 2 for 19. Some lusty hitting towards to the end from Tim Southee got ND to the point where 23 were needed from the last over. But Ian Butler's pace proved too much and Southee was left on 35 not out.