Auckland 98 (Kuggeleijn 5-32, Baker 4-44) and 233 for 7 (Nicol 59, de Grandhomme 55, Munro 50, Kuggeleijn 3-67) beat Northern Districts 124 (Bates 4-29) and 206 (Devcich 54, Kuggeleijn 50, Grobbelaar 3-37, McClenaghan 3-55) by three wickets
Auckland completed a three-wicket win inside three days over Northern Districts after being rolled over for 98 in the first innings. Rob Nicol, Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro made half-centuries as Auckland chased down the target of 233 in 65 overs.
Northern Districts had managed 124 after being asked to bat, with Michael Bates running through the latter half of the line-up to take 4 for 29. Bharat Popli and Daryl Mitchell took the score to 59 for 2 at one stage but Munro removed both batsmen in successive overs, and the innings unravelled after that.
Scott Kuggeleijn (5 for 32) and James Baker (4 for 44) then ripped through Auckland, who lasted 23.1 overs. Only three batsmen managed to get into double figures; two of them were Nos. 9 and 10 Bates and Mitchell McClenaghan, with a partnership of 31 that bolstered a score of 55 for 8.
McClenaghan picked up three wickets in the Northern Districts second innings, as did Donovan Grobbelaar. Anton Devcich got a fifty but Popli fell in the thirties for the second time in the game to squander a decent position of 89 for 3, and it was down to No. 8 Kuggeleijn (50) to guide the score past 200.
Auckland lost a pair of batsmen in quick succession thrice in the chase, but they also posted three useful partnerships in between. Michael Guptill-Bunce and Nicol added 47 upfront, Nicol and de Grandhomme put on 89 for the third wicket, and Munro (50 off 40) and Brad Cachopa combined to tally 51 for the fifth. Kuggeleijn’s third strike made it 205 for 7 but Cachopa and Bates were around to steer their side home.
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