Otago finished their Plunket Shield season in style, beating Northern Districts by four wickets in Dunedin yesterday.
But they made hard work of a modest target of 131 for victory crashing to 79 for six before Nathan McCullum and Derek de Boorder steered the side to success with an unbroken 52-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Fears for the fitness of Otago and Black Caps all-rounder Jimmy Neesham were allayed when he returned to bowl yesterday after a shoulder injury the previous day.
Northern made a better job of their second innings, posting 324 after being forced to follow on.
Meanwhile in Auckland the home side leads by 424 runs with two wickets in hand entering the final day against Wellington at Eden Park's Outer Oval.
Auckland batsman Craig Cachopa followed his double century in the first innings by top scoring with 90 in the second.
At Dunedin: Otago 326 and 131-6 (N McCullum 38no, J Ryder 30, M Bracewell 24; A Verma 2-29, I Sodhi 2-35) beat Northern Districts 132 and 324 (J Carter 87, S Kuggeleijn 61, M Santner 56, D Flynn 50; N Beard 4-62, N McCullum 3-110).
At Auckland: Auckland 394 and 328-8 (Craig Cachopa 90, C de Grandhomme 71, T McIntosh 39, C Munro 37; M Gillespie 351, M Tugaga 2-57, J Franklin 2-90) v Wellington 298 (L Woodcock 79no; C de Grandhomme 6-24).
- The Press
Which batting pair would be best at opening in ODIs for the Black Caps?