Auckland will set out to go joint top with Northern Districts when the teams meet in their first T20 clash of the season at Eden Park today.
And if that's the case, it will be Auckland with the better vibe of the two for more than the obvious reasons. It will mean Auckland are three wins from three games; and ND, two games worse off, will have lost back-to-back matches, after going down to Otago in their previous game.
Conversely, should ND get up today they'll believe themselves to be travelling well in their bid for a maiden HRV Cup title, while Auckland will hardly feel it a result to have them reaching for a cold compress.
Having been selected for the two-test series in South Africa, Auckland will be without their two unrelated Martins, seamer Chris and left arm spinner Bruce. Their places go to former national under-19 seamer Matt Quinn, and regular squad member, offspinner Bhupinder Singh, with at least one of them sure to play.
Auckland want to get some momentum into their campaign. The Canterbury win, a month after their first game, was a good start.
ND will relish having former England wicketkeeper James Foster back after missing the last two games.
In today's other game, Wellington host Central Districts in Wellington.
Points: ND 12 (4 games), Otago 8 (3), Auckland 8 (2), Wellington 8 (4), Canterbury 0 (3), CD 0 (2).
Vying for honours
Auckland v Northern Districts
Eden Park, 4pm today
Auckland: (from) Gareth Hopkins (c), Lou Vincent, Phil Mustard, Anaru Kitchen, Colin de Grandhomme, Craig Cachopa, Reece Young, Donovan Grobbelaar, Bhupinder Singh, Kyle Mills, Andre Adams, Matt Quinn.
ND: (from) Scott Styris (c), Brad Wilson, Anton Devcich, James Marshall, Steven Croft, James Foster, Daryl Mitchell, Ish Sodhi, Brett Hampton, Graeme Aldridge, Brent Arnel, Anurag Verma, Bradley Scott.By David Leggat Email David