Otago took the opening honours in the first match of this year's shield on Saturday, beating Canterbury by a mere three runs at Alexandra. Derek de Boorder topscored for the home side with 52 not out as they reached 225 for 8. Canterbury got off to a slow start but were given hope through half-centuries from Kruger Van Wyk, Andrew Ellis and Chris Harris but ultimately came up short.

Sunday saw a record-breaking match at Eden Park. Rob Nicol and Richard Jones both struck centuries in an Auckland record stand of 242 to take the state to its highest one-day score of 342 for 5. Jones and Nicol came together in the 12th over to boost the total Northern Districts were gutsy in reply, reaching their second highest score of 306 for 8. BJ Watling and Mark Orchard both made fifties, but were ultimately unsuccessful.

Stephen Fleming and Neal Parlane put on a century stand to register a comfortable six-wicket win for Wellington against Central Districts in Wellington. Fleming reached 88, while Parlane was 94 not out as Wellington went past the visitors' 256 with ten overs to spare. Geoff Barnett topscored for CD with 75.