Riding on a splendid allround performance by Nathan Astle, Canterbury completed a six-wicket win against Central Districts at Napier. Chasing 172, Astle stood firm at one end and saw his team through to the finish with two balls to spare.
Astle clattered six fours and three sixes in his 56-ball 75 and strung together quick partnerships with the rest of the batsmen. After losing Brendon McCullum early, Craig McMillan and Astle brought up their fifty partnership in just 22 balls. Peter Fulton joined Astle when McMillan was run out and scored 31 in a 62-run partnership that virtually sealed the match. Though Fulton and Chris Cairns fell in quick succession (139 for 4), Astle steered Canterbury home in the company of Chris Harris in the final over of the game.
After Central Districts won the toss and chose to bat, Jamie How smashed 41 in an opening stand of 55 with Matthew Sinclair. Sinclair too played his part, scoring 58 off 36 balls but apart from the openers none of the other batsmen made any substantial contributions and Central Districts lost their way from 104 for 1 and collapsed to 171 for 9. Cairns took 2 for 24 in his four overs and Astle chipped in with a fine bowling performance, 2 for 23, before authoring a convincing victory with the bat.