Otago 169 (Cumming 31, Tuffey 3-30, Aldridge 2-17) lost to Northern Districts 170 for 8 (McGlashan 41*, Hart 27, Cumming 2-18) by two wickets
Otago launched their revamped venue University Oval with a thriller that attracted nearly 2000 spectators at Dunedin on Sunday. But the result, which was decided with two balls of the reduced overs game left, didn't go Otago's way. They had batted first against Northern Districts and had scored 169 which never seemed enough.
It was a total that was given early impetus by Craig Cumming, the Otago captain, with support from Mohammad Wasim and Gareth Hopkins who scored 27 each. Down the order, a late 24 from Brad Scott, was valuable. He had started with the intention of batting out to the 40 overs, but he hit out once too often and paid the price in becoming one of Daryl Tuffey's three wickets. Graeme Aldridge helped to tie down the Otago middle-order, as he bowled eight overs and took two for 17.
ND had starts from BJ Watling (21), Matt Hart (27) and Hamish Marshall (21), but two-thirds of the way through the innings they looked to have shut themselves out of the game. However, Peter McGlashan batted out the over of a lifetime in taking 25 runs from the hapless Warren McSkimming and revved up the ND run rate. The injured James Marshall came in after the eighth wicket fell to score the winning run to relieve some of the pain of the split webbing in his hand which had required seven stitches.
Wellingon 166 (Parlane 53, Pasupati 27, Hamilton 4-13, Sulzberger 3-21) lost to Central Districts 167 for 2 (Englefield 80*, Spearman 68*) by eight wickets
Central Districts won a vital toss at Waikanae's Domain, which had been inundated by flooding during the previous 36 hours. They asked their neighbours Wellington to bat first and, at 16 for 3, the guts were all but knocked out of the Wellington innings.
However, Neal Parlane threw out an anchor and scored 53, and he received partial support from James Franklin (14), Mark Gillespie (26) and Mayu Pasupati (27 off 17 balls) but Wellington were always going to struggle to defend their 166.
Lance Hamilton bowled superbly in the conditions to take 4 for 13 from his 8 overs - a career-best, while Glen Sulzberger took 3 for 21.
Wellington sniffed a chance with Jamie How and Mathew Sinclair back in the pavilion for 19 runs, but they reckoned without an unbroken stand being fashioned by Craig Spearman and Jarrod Englefield. They scored 146 runs to see CD home with a bonus point to see them to the top of the table at the halfway stage in their defence of the State Shield. Englefield was 80 not out off 86 balls, a career-best score, while Spearman had his best outing of the summer to date with 68 off 86 balls.