The final day of the State Championship match between Northern Districts and Otago ended in a tense draw after Otago lost nine wickets while chasing a target of 266 at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
ND declared their second innings at 150 and then set to bowl out Otago in the allotted 78 overs. Otago lost wickets at regular intervals as right-arm fast-medium bowler Graeme Aldridge got three wickets while medium pacers Timothy Southee and Brent Arnel got two each. Aldridge ended with eight wickets for the match, having taken 5 for 75 in the first innings. Tail-enders Bradley Scott and James McMillan played out the last two overs of the day after Otago had collapsed to 197 for 9.
Timothy Weston's maiden century was an effort in vain as Central Districts were bowled out by Auckland chasing 375 on the final day's play at Eden Park's Outer Oval.
A century by Richard Jones, his second in the game, and a half-century by Rob Nicol allowed to Auckland declare their second innings at 284 for 5. Then their opening bowlers Chris Martin (3 for 80) and Andre Adams (3 for 47) sent back the first four CD batsmen with 10 runs on the scoreboard. Weston (152) and Bevan Griggs (69) made up for the top-order collapse with a 168-run partnership for the fifth wicket. But it was never going to be enough, especially since no other CD batsman scored more than 25. Weston, himself, was dismissed for the ninth wicket caught by Adams off Martin while Griggs was dismissed by Gareth Haynes who got with 3 for 80 with his offbreak bowling. Martin ended with eight for the match while Adams got seven.
Wellington won two first-innings points after chasing down Canterbury's mammoth 613 on the back of Stu Mills's maiden first-class century at Christchurch.
Mills (171) added 184 with Grant Elliot (101) for the sixth wicket and then 176 with Chris Nevin (98). Dewayne Bowden and Iain O'Brien chased down the 46 needed to gain the lead with eight overs to spare. Hamish Bennett, a right-arm medium fast bowler, took four wickets including Mills.