In his first match after undergoing surgery on his left eye last month, Ross Taylor struck an unbeaten 82 off 41 balls and added 111 off only 50 balls with Dane Cleaver to set up a 64-run win for Central Districts against Auckland in New Pylmouth.
Central Districts were put in to bat and their in-form opener Mahela Jayawardene struck 31 off 19 after losing his partner George Worker in the first over. This took them off to a good start and allowed them to keep a healthy run rate. However, they were reduced to 95 for 4 in the 12th over, thanks to Hong Kong international Mark Chapman (2-36) who removed Will Young (30) and Tom Bruce (12) in consecutive overs. This brought Cleaver and Taylor together and the duo got stuck into Auckland's bowling. Cleaver scored 47 off 26 balls with two fours and four sixes, while Taylor hit four fours and eight sixes to help Central Districts post 213.
In response, Auckland were pegged back by medium-pacer Blair Tickner, who took two of the three wickets they lost within the Powerplay, before returning in the latter half of the innings to complete with figures of 5 for 19 - his best across formats. Only SM Solia (40 off 21) and Jeet Raval (31 off 18) offered any resistance for Auckland as they folded for 149, to lose by the biggest margin so far in this season's Super Smash.
Opener BJ Watling struck an unbeaten 52 to take Northern Districts to their third consecutive Super Smash win, against Canterbury in Mount Maunganui. His 48-ball innings followed a strong Northern Districts bowling performance that saw Canterbury finish with 127 for 6 in their innings.
Chasing 128, Watling combined with opening partner Dean Brownlie (36 off 22) to put on a 62 before the latter was dismissed in the eighth over. Although a string of wickets - one each in the 11th, 12th and 13th overs - fell thereafter, Watling anchored Northern Districts' batting, adding another 42 runs for the fifth wicket with Nick Kelly (23* off 19) to win the game with 13 balls to spare and six wickets in hand.
Earlier, pacers Trent Lawford and Scott Kuggeleijn took two wickets each, while Ish Sodhi and Jono Boult took a scalp each to restrict Canterbury to 127. Todd Astle remained unbeaten on 37 after coming in when Canterbury were struggling at 73 for 5.