Ken McClure's career-best 193 not out helped Canterbury chase down 397 and pull off a five-wicket win over Otago in Invercargill.
Coming in to bat at No. 5, after Canterbury slumped to 57 for 3 on the third day, McClure dropped anchor to build century partnerships with Peter Fulton (70) and Andrew Ellis (32). McClure almost single-handedly completed the chase for Canterbury as no other batsman, apart from Fulton and himself, managed a fifty-plus score. His 193 came off 266 balls during which he struck 29 fours and three sixes. Once Ellis fell with the score at 302, McClure took Canterbury home with Todd Astle, who made 48 not out.
Otago were driven to 351 after being put in to bat following Neil Broom's 117 and fifties from James Neesham (75) and Derek de Boorder (69). No other Otago batsman scored more than 40.
They went on to strengthen their position in the game by bowling Canterbury out for 180. Mark Craig led the way with returns of 4 for 40 to help his side gain a 171-run lead. For Canterbury, Michael Davidson's 44 helped lift the side after they were struggling at 94 for 6.
Otago then stretched their lead to 396 thanks to fifties from Anaru Kitchen (61) and Michael Bracewell (53), which helped them declare at 225 for 3.
Second-innings centuries from Jeet Raval and Robert O'Donnell and a five-for from Tarun Nethula paved the way for Auckland's 47-run win over Central Districts at Eden Park. Auckland, who are still unbeaten in the competition, piled on 425 for 6 declared in their second innings, leaving Central Districts with a target of 383. Central Districts were bowled out for 335. The win helped Auckland open up a 17-point gap over Canterbury at the top of the points table.
Auckland had conceded a 43-run lead before Raval and O'Donnell struck a second-wicket partnership of 196 runs, building on an opening partnership of 100. Both batsmen were dismissed in the space of four overs but Colin de Grandhomme, who had scored a 40-ball 55 in the first innings, pitched in with a brisk 69 - his fourth consecutive fifty-plus score - to push Auckland's lead up. Ajaz Patel returned career-best figures, taking five of the six Auckland wickets in the second innings, adding to his tally of 6 for 117 in the first innings.
Auckland kept Central Districts' chase of 383 in check with regular wickets, reducing them to 96 for 4. Will Young and Dane Cleaver, however, fought back with a 112-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Nethula's strikes, however, left them reeling at 264 for 7 before they were eventually dismissed for 335. Like Ajaz, Nethula also produced his best figures, finishing with a match haul of 11 wickets, his 5 for 140 adding to his first-innings figures of 6 for 132.
Auckland's first innings total of 373, after they were put in to bat, was fashioned by Martin Guptill-Bunce's brisk 112 and lower-order contributions from de Grandhomme and Donovan Grobbelaar. Central Districts recovered from 285 for 5 to 416 with contributions from Mitch Renwick (71), Young (85), Tom Bruce (80) and Cleaver (62).
A crucial 121-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Tom Blundell (78) and Fraser Colson (51*) helped Wellington chase down a target of 378 runs against Northern Districts with three wickets to spare. The partnership between Blundell and Colson was the second century stand in Wellington's chase, after Stephen Murdoch and Scott Borthwick had added 130 runs for the third wicket to help the side tide over early losses.
After Murdoch and Borthwick had helped Wellington recover, Northern Districts fought back with quick wickets to reduce them to 222 for 5. Blundell and Colson lifted the side to 343 before Blundell fell for 78, but Colson carried on and ensured the win four overs after the wicket.
Northern Districts had made a strong start in the game by posting 438 for 8 declared in the first innings, after they were asked to bat. BJ Watling top-scored with 77, while Dean Brownlie (57), Daryl Mitchell (51), Scott Kuggeleijn (71*) and Tim Seifert (60) also chipped in. Seifert and Kuggeleijn put together a 120-run stand for the seventh wicket that helped Northern Districts cross 400 after they were 295 for 6.
Wellington declared their first innings at 352 for 7, built on Luke Woodcock's 111 and knocks from Borthwick (71) and Michael Pollard (62).
Daniel Flynn's rapid 86-ball 110 helped stretch Northern Districts' lead of 86 to 377 as the side raked up 291 runs in the second innings off 43 overs, scoring at more than six an over. Flynn hit 20 fours and a six, after which Watling chipped in with a 99-ball 76, and Anton Devcich smacked a 56-ball 80.