Powered by fifties to Kane Williamson and Daniel Flynn, defending champions Northern Districts secured their place against Auckland in the finals of the one-day competition with an 83-run win over Central Districts in Whangarei. Having suffered defeat to Auckland in a one-sided contest last week, ND got their act together and will hope to repeat this success over Auckland when they take on the hosts in the final on February 21.
Jamie How's decision to field did not go to plan. Flynn, out of favour with New Zealand's selectors, got ND's innings off to a 72-run start alongside Michael Parlane (27), and when joined by Williamson set about forging a match-winning partnership. The pair put on 112 with Williamson the dominant partner. Flynn's dismissal for 81 from 101 balls at 172 for 2 was followed by a period where CD's bowlers took three wickets for 56 runs, including dismissing Williamson for a 98-ball 84, but James Marshall and Peter McGlashan finished the innings strongly. The last two overs cost 25 as ND finished on 284 for 6.
How came out blazing and helped CD reply with a 72-run stand of their own, with George Worker's 53-ball 21 holding up one end. But the pair was separated within five runs of each other, How following Worker for 51 from 41 balls. Bradley Scott and Anton Devcich kept the pressure on the middle and lower orders - CD slipped from 103 for 3 in the 24th over to 136 for 6 by the 34th - and there was only further resistance from Mathew Sinclair; one he was bowled by Scott for 54 at 180 for 7 the rest of the innings folded for 201.