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Auckland win high-scoring thriller against Wellington

A round-up of the Ford Trophy matches on March 3

ESPNcricinfo staff
Auckland 321 for 6 (Hopkins 117, McIntosh 58) beat Wellington 318 for 5 (Boam 98*, Franklin 59, Mills 4-43) by four wickets
Kyle Mills' six off the final ball led Auckland to a four-wicket victory over Wellington in the Basin Reserve. Wellington were put into bat, with almost all the batsmen getting starts. The middle order of Grant Elliot (45), James Franklin (59), Luke Woodcock (37), and an unbeaten 98 from Harry Boam, his highest List A score, all contributed to Wellington reaching an imposing 318 at the completion of their 50 overs. Kyle Mills managed to avoid the carnage with an economical 4 for 43.
Auckland were able to put together substantial partnerships in reply, led by the openers Anaru Kitchen (36) and Tim McIntosh (58). Wicketkeeper-captain Gareth Hopkins played the anchoring role with his aggressive 117 off 98 balls. Colin Munro played a vital supporting role with his 44. Needing 13 runs off the final over, Ryder dismissed Colin de Grandhomme, who was looking threatening with his 31 off 17 balls. Mills was next man in, and after missing out on his first ball, was able to strike a six off the final ball of the innings to seal a memorable win for Auckland.
Canterbury 280 for 4 (George Worker 129*, Ellis 65*) beat Central Districts 213 (Noema-Barnett 57, McCone 5-38) by 67 runs
George Worker carried his bat through the innings to ensure Canterbury moved to second place in the table, as they beat Central Districts by 67 runs in Nelson. Canterbury elected to bat, but suffered a horror-start as opener Bradley Cachopa was dismissed caught-behind for a golden duck, followed by Rob Nicol getting caught by Will Young off Adam Milne. Worker and Henry Nicholls righted the ship with a 137-run stand for the third wicket. Worker was able to build substantial partnerships with Shanan Stewart and Andrew Ellis, as Canterbury finished with 280 for 4. Worker scored an unbeaten 129, his highest List A score.
Facing a stiff target, the Central Districts batsmen came undone, as they were 57 for 5 through the bowling efforts of Ryan McCone and Matt Henry. Kieran Noema-Barnett and Ben Smith put on a 53-run partnership to help stabilise the innings. Once Noema-Barnett was dismissed, Smith and Tarun Nethula combined for a team-record seventh-wicket partnership of 94 runs. But they were simply delaying the inevitable as Henry and McCone returned to wrap up the tail. McCone picked up a maiden five-for, finishing with 5 for 38.
Northern Districts 249 for 7 (Mitchell 52, Butler 3-45) beat Otago 207 (Wells 81, Verma 3-32) by 42 runs
Northern Districts moved to top-spot in the table, with a 42-run victory over Otago. Northern Districts elected to bat and strung together regular partnerships,the top and middle order contributing to the cause. Daryl Mitchell top-scored with 52, and was ably supported by Daniel Flynn (34), Jono Hickey (32) and Jono Boult (39). Ian Butler has best figures of 3 for 45, as Northern Districts finished on 249 for 7.
In the chase, Anurag Verma, Brent Arnel and Graeme Aldridge were among the wickets, as they kept Otago in check. Opener Wells scored a career-best 81 but didn't have adequate support, as Otago were dismissed for 207 in 46 overs.