In the battle of the big fish, Canterbury surged into the top spot in the State Shield points table with a convincing demolition of second-placed Otago. Michael Papps pushed his claims for a national recall with an accomplished 73 while Peter Fulton, fresh from a good one-day series against Sri Lanka, smashed 85 from 70 balls complete with seven fours and a couple of sixes as Canterbury made 257 for 6. Aaron Redmond, bowling his legbreaks, was the most successful Otago bowler with 3 for 40 from his 10 overs. Following a dismal series with the ball against Sri Lanka, Chris Cairns produced a display that will give him confidence ahead of a busy New Zealand touring season. Sharing the new ball responsibilities with the impressive Stephen Cunis, Cairns ran through Otago to finish with figures of 4 for 23 from seven overs. Cunis played his role well with 2 for 26 as Canterbury's opening duo made a mockery of Otago. Jonathan Trott, enjoying a good season, stood head and shoulders above his team-mates in scoring an unbeaten 83.