Colin de Grandhomme made 35 from 25 balls to lift Aukland to a three-wicket win over Northern Districts with an over to spare in their HRV Cup match at Colin Maiden Park in Aukland. Grandhomme and Gareth Hopkins, who made 17, added 52 in just 5.5 overs as Aukland looked to have the match well in hand at 131 for 4 in the 16th over chasing 156.
However, there were a few nervous moments for the home side as the pair fell within three deliveries of each other, allrounder Andre Adams had to retire hurt after being hit above the right eye by Tim Southee, and Ronnie Hira perished in the same in over to leave Aukland 135 for 7 with three overs remaining.
But Colin Munro kept his head while Southee lost his, conceding 13 runs in the 19th over, which included three wides. Munro hit him wide of mid-on for four before repeating the stroke, this time for two, to take his side to victory. Left-arm spinner Anton Devcich was the best of the bowlers, taking 2 for 21.
Opener Brad Wilson set up Nothern Districts total of 155 for 5 with a quickfire 46 from 27 balls, including eight fours. He added 65 with New Zealand batsman BJ Watling (18) in 7.4 overs as they appeared to lay the platform for a big total. But the innings sputtered after Wilson departed, bowled by Adams off his pads. It was left to captain Scott Styris, who made an unbeaten 31 from 22 balls, to inject some urgency at the end, with 24 coming off the final two overs. In the end, it was not enough.