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Auckland top, first win for Canterbury

Auckland have now won four of their five State Shield matches to date, with two wins in recent games against Wellington and Central Districts, leaving them top of the pile. Their latest victory, against second-placed Centrals, was the tightest of the three matches in the shield, with Auckland getting home at Nelson with five balls to spare. The home side batted first and Jamie How's 73 led them to set a target of 260. Auckland set off well in pursuit, and Martin Guptill proved the star with 90.

In third place are Otago after a win against Northern Districts in the latest round in Hamilton. Otago had nine balls to spare when they made the required 225, having lost five wickets. Andrew Strauss made 39 in his first match, which proved a losing cause.

Canterbury, meanwhile, recorded their first win in the competition, comfortably overhauling Wellington's total by five wickets, with 83 balls remaining. At home in Christchurch they dismissed their visitors for 176, of which Grant Elliott made 81 not out. Johann Myburgh and Michael Papps both made fifties to ensure the win.