A five-wicket haul from New Zealand legspinner Ish Sodhi in the second innings helped Northern Districts crush Canterbury by 310 runs in a rain-interrupted match in Gisborne, to move away from the foot of the table.
Set 384 to win, Canterbury completely collapsed and were dismissed for 73 as Sodhi finished with 5 for 29. Only two batsmen made it into double figures. Northern Districts took 15 points from the game to move from last to No. 4 in the competition. Canterbury, who are on top of the league, earned none.
Northern Districts, choosing to bat, made 482 in their first innings. After losing an early wicket, their captain Daniel Flynn scored 101 and put up 144 for the second wicket with Joe Carter, to steer the team to safety. Andrew Ellis, who eventually ended with a five-for, picked up quick wickets to rattle Northern Districts' middle order, but another big partnership - 174 for the seventh wicket between Mitchell Santner and Bharat Popli - lifted the team to a big total. Popli fell for 82, but Santner scored 118 - his maiden first-class ton.
Canterbury began their reply positively with the openers Tom Latham and Peter Fulton both scoring fifties, but rain and ground delays meant that only 36 overs was possible on the third day. Canterbury subsequently declared at 139 for no loss, handing Northern Districts a lead of 343.
With only a day's play left, Northern Districts declared at 40 for 0 after batting for 10 overs, giving them plenty of overs to try and bowl Canterbury out. They ultimately needed just 36.5 to do so.
Wellington and Central Districts put in improved batting performances in their second innings to fight out a draw in Napier. After 23 wickets had fallen in the first two days a result seemed likely, but rain and the batsmen stepped up to force a stalemate that earned both teams four points.
Wellington collapsed after winning the toss and their openers adding 68 for the first wicket. They slipped from 119 for 2 to 148 for 8. Kieran Noema-Barnett took 4 for 26 and Bevan Small and Doug Bracewell claimed three wickets each as Wellington were dismissed for 172 in 51 overs. By stumps on the first day, however, Wellington's seamers Mark Gillespie, Andy McKay and James Franklin had reduced Central Districts to 103 for 5.
The slump continued on the second morning, and Central Districts were all out for 161 in the 63.2 overs, 11 runs behind Wellington. Gillespie finished with career-best innings figures of 6 for 38.
Wellington's second innings was interrupted by rain on the second day, and they went into stumps on 143 for 3. Despite several rain interruptions, they made solid progress on the third, with Grant Elliott making 91, Franklin contributing 74, and Luke Woodcock hitting 42. Jeetan Patel's 20-ball 34 led them to 341 for 6 on the fourth morning before Wellington declared and set Central Districts a target of 353.
Ben Smith led the chase, scoring 94 at No. 2 to lead Central Districts past 200. Several other batsmen got starts but no one converted them into a half-century and the innings did not have a commanding partnership after William Young fell with the score on 152 for 3. Gillespie took two wickets to finish with eight in the match, and Central Districts ended on 290 for 7.
Four players scored centuries, as Auckland and Otago played out a draw in a high-scoring game at Eden Park's Outer Oval. Auckland, put in to bat, made a bright start as the opener Anaru Kitchen scored 64 to lay the foundation for a mammoth total. Kitchen departed in the 36th over, but Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme combined for a fourth-wicket association that yielded 193 runs. De Grandhomme fell 17 runs short of a hundred but Munro, who had been left out of New Zealand's ODI squad that blanked India 4-0, carried on and made 156 with 22 fours and four sixes. Neil Wagner picked up three wickets for Otago, but an unbeaten 48 from Michael Bates pushed the hosts to 467.
New Zealand opener Hamish Rutherford led Otago's reply with a quickfire 108 that included 14 fours and four sixes, before being caught by Bruce Martin off his own bowling. The visitors, however, were lifted by a 152-run stand for the fifth wicket between Bradley Rodden and Sam Wells which eventually helped the team to 436. Wells hit 79 while Rodden, playing in only his second first-class match, went on to score 113.
Auckland lost two early wickets in their second innings, but Munro and Craig Cachopa led the recovery by adding 81 from just 65 balls. The captain Gareth Hopkins then helped the team make further inroads by striking 116 not out, but with only a few more overs left in the match, a stalemate was inevitable. Auckland were on 310 for 8 when the game ended.