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Canterbury clinch Plunket Shield

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017

Canterbury have withstood Auckland's late bid to win the Plunket Shield, claiming the New Zealand first class cricket silverware for a third time in four seasons.

A gripping last day of the domestic summer fell Canterbury's way, even though they lost their match outright to Wellington.

Defending champions Auckland needed to beat Central Districts to leapfrog the Cantabrians but fell narrowly short, losing by three wickets in Napier.

An Auckland second-innings declaration set a target of 301 at McLean Park.

Central Districts survived some wobbles to reach 301-7, based around a crucial 130 from George Worker.

The result left Canterbury as champions for a 19th time, having been the only team to notch four outright wins in the 10 rounds this season.

They finished on 105 points, with Northern Districts charging home in second on 103 and Auckland third with 98.

Canterbury finished with one of their worst performances of the campaign, beaten by seven wickets at Hagley Oval.

Captain Andy Ellis scored 110 in Canterbury's second innings to lift them to 293-8 declared.

Wellington, chasing 227, raced to 230-3 thanks largely to an unbeaten 110 from veteran Hamish Marshall.

Northern Districts powered to a three-wicket defeat of Otago in Dunedin, with centuries to wicketkeeper Tim Seifert (151) and Daryl Mitchell (106) steering them to the required 350-7.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi was a standout for the winners, taking 11 wickets for the match.

Sodhi finished the competition with 40 victims on a wicket-taking table dominated by spinners. Central Districts' Ajaz Patel took 44 scalps and Auckland's Tarun Nethula 43.

The leading run-scorer was Otago opener Brad Wilson (730), pipping Otago's Anaru Kitchen (695) and Auckland's Colin Munro (685).

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