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Auckland lose thriller but make final

Nathan McCullum scored 61 off 35 balls Getty Images

Auckland's push to finish top of the standings was foiled during a thrilling finish against Otago at Colin Maiden Park. The match ended in a tie after which Otago prevailed in the Super Over. The result brought them level with Auckland at second place in the points table but Auckland progressed because of a superior net-run rate and will play Central Districts in the final. Auckland was dominant for the majority of the game, after scoring 171 thanks to Anaru Kitchen's 54 and Colin de Grandhomme's 40 off 23 balls. Otago were floundering at 65 for 5 in their chase before Nathan McCullum blasted 61 off 35 balls to revive the chase. A boundary off the final ball from No. 11 Nick Beard helped Otago level the scores and force the match into a tiebreaker. Otago batted first in the Super Over and managed 14 off Daryl Tuffey; Auckland scored only eight off Yasir Arafat's.

A blitz from Ross Taylor led Central Districts to a four-wicket victory against Northern Districts in a rain-shortened HRV Cup game at Seddon Park. Set a revised target of 96 in 12 overs, Central Districts got there with three balls to spare as Taylor carted three deliveries over the boundary during his 12-ball 28. Central's innings also received contributions from Peter Ingram and Matthew Sinclair, while Daniel Vettori took 2 for 10 in two overs. Earlier, Northern Districts were able to bat out 20 overs but managed to score only 148. They began to collapse after an opening stand of 28 and only James Marshall's unbeaten 59 propped them up to 148. Central Districts will host Auckland in the final of the HRV Cup in New Plymouth.

A solid performance from Wellington's top order helped fashion a seven-run win against Canterbury at Rangiora. Cameron Merchant's 57 was Wellington's top score but the innings also had useful contributions from Neal Parlane, Owais Shah and James Franklin. Craig McMillan bowled a handly spell for Canterbury as Wellington reached 162 for 5 in 20 overs. Canterbury's chase lost direction after the openers added 24 and they lost five wickets for 30 runs as the innings was reduced to 54 for 5. Johann Myburgh and Dean Brownlie scored 40s to restore momentum to the chase but they Wellington eventually prevailed by seven runs.