Someone had to eventually stop the rot.

As it turned out the buck stopped yesterday with another experienced customer, Jamie How, who stepped up to spearhead the Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags to their second victory in the limited-overs campaign.

It was the 32-year-old opening batsman's fourth List A ton, as he scored a quickfire 156 runs from 139 balls after digging his heels into the crease for three hours and 32 minutes.

"I've only had a couple [of centuries] for CD so it's probably a great result but it was nice to win one for the team today," How said last night after carving up 10 boundaries and lofting seven shots over the ropes at the Eden Park Outer Oval for a 113-run victory.


The Heinrich Malan-coached predominantly young side were coming off a good old-fashioned 10-wicket walloping at the hands of the Canterbury Wizards in Christchurch last Sunday.

That flogging proved to be the catalyst for Kieran Noema-Barnett and his men yesterday, albeit against an Auckland outfit minus about half a dozen Black Caps on Twenty20 World Cup duty in Bangladesh.

"We're a proud team and association, disappointing conditions or not," said the Taranaki right-handed batsman of a Hagley Oval that offered a juicy wicket following flooding in Christchurch.

"We were pretty keyed up to bounce back today and we did quite well," said the former Black Cap, who has a career 29 half tons in the format but 16 first-class centuries (38 half tons) and one century in the HRV Cup T20 to date.

No 3 Dane Cleaver scored 60 runs from 76 balls after the hosts won the toss and had CD padding up for a total of 303-7 in their 50 overs.

"It's nice for Dane to get a performance early in his one-day career. It was the key stage of the innings and he played really well to help set things up," How said of the 22-year-old Manawatu wicketkeeper.

He and Cleaver had created the opportunity for the rest of the CD batsmen to cut loose. Although they didn't explode as much as they would have liked, the total achieved the desired result.

In reply, the Gareth Hopkins-captained Aces looked ominous with opener Anaru Kitchen throwing willow to leather for 59 but Noema-Barnett, back from injury, and Seth Rance claimed two early wickets with the new ball.

No Auckland batsmen really worked his way in, bar No 10 Matt Quinn (36 runs from 27 balls), as Noema-Barnett fulfilled the role of allrounder with 3-42 from 10 overs.

CD's twin-spin attack frustrated the batsmen as Marty Kain finished with 2-23 as the most frugal bowler while ex-Black Cap Tarun Nethula wasn't too far off with 2-29 as Auckland stuttered to 190 all out in 40.4 overs.

The win pushed the Stags to third rung of the ladder but the task doesn't become any easier, with CD hosting leaders Northern Districts Knights at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, on Sunday - although stormy weather forecast for the North Island may have the last say.

How lauded the return of batsman Carl Cachopa and also his captain's allrounder's 10-over bowling spell that enabled CD to find a modicum of balance between batsmen and bowlers.

"All the bowlers chipped in to help and the scoreboard shows that."

He said Kitchen managed to work his way into the innings but the CD bowlers kept taking wickets at the other end.

"Tarun and Marty were very reliable," he said, adding it was nice to be in a changing room sporting a triumphant backdrop.

The second-placed Wizards beat Otago Volts by four wickets in a high-scoring affair at the University Oval, Dunedin.

The Wellington Firebirds' woes continued as they lost at home to T20 champions ND Knights by three wickets at the Hawkins Basin Reserve.

In the next round, the Aces will host the Wizards at Eden Park Outer Oval while the last-placed Volts will fancy their chances against the out-of-sorts Firebirds at the University Oval.

Standings: ND 13, Canterbury 11, CD Stags 10, Auckland 10, Wellington 6, Otago 4.