A solid batting performance enabled Central Districts to consolidate their position at the top of the points table in a drawn encounter with Northern Districts in Whangarei. Peter Ingram (105) and George Worker (52) led the way with a big opening stand, and Tim Weston (99) and Kruger van Wyk (92 not out) boosted CD past ND's 342 with a century sixth-wicket partnership. Graeme Aldridge took four wickets but there wasn't much going for the other bowlers as CD surged to a 155-run first-innings lead. Kieran Noema-Barnett, Doug Bracewell and Michael Mason had earlier grabbed eight wickets between them to restrict ND to 342, despite Daniel Flynn's 135 and half-centuries from Peter McGlashan and Aldridge.
ND recovered from 24 for 3 in their second innings to post 275, but the match had meandered into academic realms by then. BJ Watling was dismissed for 99, and Brook Hatwell got 71. Worker helped himself to three late wickets with his slow left-armers, but it was the seamers who did most of the damage upfront. In a short but frenetic second innings, CD made 28 for 3, with two batsmen being run out. But they had already assured themselves of two points.
Otago fell two runs short of beating Canterbury in their game at the Queenstown Events Centre. Chasing 345 for victory Otago reached 343 for 7 with Shaun Haigh unbeaten on 94.
Earlier, centuries from Reece Young and Andrew Ellis and 95 from Michael Papps, propelled Canterbury to 496 in their first innings. In reply Otago reached 171 for 3 at the end of the second day. On a rain-interrupted third day, they could only add a further 70 runs and they declared overnight. Canterbury raced to 89 for 2 in 15 overs, before declaring to set Otago a target of 345 in 90 overs.
Otago started steadily with openers Cumming and Aaron Redmond putting on 90 runs in just under 23 overs before Redmond was dismissed. Cumming, who made an unbeaten 127 in the first innings, continued to look in fine nick, hitting 17 fours as he reached his second century of the match. At 234 for 1 with 30 overs remaining, Otago looked well on course for victory. However Willie Lonsdale struck a crucial double blow dismissing Cumming and Neil Broom in the 62nd over. Otago seemed to lose momentum after that as Todd Astle and Ellis picked up four middle and lower-order wickets between them. The seventh wicket fell with the score on 308 and at the stage Otago needed 37 runs off 46 balls. But Haigh and No 9 Neil Wagner were only able to add 35 runs and the match ended in a draw.
Wellington beat Auckland by five wickets at the Basin Reserve to record their first outright win of the season and joined Northern Districts at third position in the points table.
Andy McKay and Mark Gillespie picked up seven wickets between them as Auckland were bowled out for 330 in their first innings. Andrew de Boorder made 124 and Jimmy Neesham made 67 but none of the remaining batsmen could get past 35. Wellington declared their innings on 332 with Michael Pollard making 131 and Stewart Rhodes an unbeaten 71. McKay, followed his four-wicket haul in the first innings to pick up five wickets as Auckland declared their second innings on 277 for 9. Their top six batsmen all got past 20, but failed to go on and make a big score with Boorder top scoring with 55. Set a target of 276, Wellington started poorly losing opener Stephen Murdoch with just six runs on the board. However Neal Parlane, who made an unbeaten 127, put on a half-century partnership with Pollard, and an unbroken 134 runs with Joe Austin-Smellie (63), to take Wellington to a victory.
The next round of games begin on February 24.
Andrew de Boorder
Auckland vs Wellington
Canterbury vs Otago
Northern Dis vs Central D
New Zealand Domestic Season