Canterbury's bowlers kept their nerve to edge a tense thriller against Northern Districts at Whangerei. After making just 125 for 4 - a fairly low score for this format - the Canterbury attack needed to muster all of their acumen to restrict ND.

The home side's chase was going great guns while James Marshall and JosephYovich (21*) were batting, after coming together at 69 for 4. They added 45 between them but Marshall's dismissal for 48 on the last ball of the 17th over proved the turning point.

The team then needed 12 from the last three overs, but lost a further three quick wickets to put paid to their chances. Two of those fell in the final over, bowled by Leighton Burtt - Graeme Aldridge was run out, and then Daryl Tuffey was caught and bowled. Three runs were needed off the final ball, but they could only grab a single as Canterbury squeezed the win.

Canterbury were indebted to their captain Chris Harris's unbeaten 45, which rescued them from a spot of bother at 64 for 3.

No such bumsqueaking at Auckland where the home side's 212 proved insurmountable. Central Districts' reply got off to a confident enough start - and then some - Ewen Thompson (25) and Jamie How (52) putting on 79 off the first 28 deliveries.

But How's dismissal triggered a collapse from which they couldn't recover. Dave Houpapa was Auckland's topscorer - he struck 74 not out from 53 balls and his knock proved the difference.