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Canterbury close on ND in Plunket Shield

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/11/2016

Canterbury seamers Ed Nuttall and Kyle Jamieson tore through Auckland's tailenders to help secure the only Plunket Shield outright win heading into a mid-season break.

Canterbury won a thriller by 10 runs in Rangiora to close the gap on competition leaders Northern Districts to three points.

Northern drew with fifth-placed Central Districts in Napier while there was a stalemate between third-placed Wellington basement dwellers and Otago in soggy Dunedin.

The sixth round of the 10-leg competition is in late February.

Defending champions Auckland were 290-4 in pursuit of 361 before Nuttall (5-67) and Jamieson (3-86) struck, dismissing the visitors for 350. Jamieson finished with match figures of 11-160.

On day three, opening batsman Chad Bowes scored a career-best 155 in Canterbury's 400-7 declared after they trailed on the first innings.

Northern dug in to deny Central Districts, reaching 295-7 after being set a victory target of 450.

Nick Kelly batted nearly five hours in reaching 56 not out while Bharat Popli earlier scored 60.

A total of 152 overs were possible in Dunedin, where Otago's 208 was trumped by Wellington's 350-7.

Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi responded to being dropped from the New Zealand Test and one-day international squads by blasting an unbeaten 119 off 109 balls for the visitors.

Wellington spinner Jeetan Patel was the game's other standout, taking 6-55.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket announced the abandoned round four match between Wellington and Central Districts won't be replayed.

The game at the Basin Reserve was called off in the wake of the November 14 earthquake and hasn't been rescheduled for logistical reasons.

Both teams were awarded five points.

Standings: Northern Districts 52, Canterbury 49, Wellington 47, Auckland 41, Central Districts 28, Otago 23.

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