Aucklanders off to great start in defence of one-day title and Ryder fires for Otago with sixth one-day century.
Auckland's defence of the domestic one-day title got off to a flying start with a convincing win over Northern Districts at Eden Park yesterday.
The hosts chased down ND's 195 with 11.3 overs to spare for a seven-wicket win.
When Auckland won the title last season, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro and captain Gareth Hopkins were in the top five runmakers. All three had a hand yesterday, none more so than Kitchen, who finished 13 shy of what would have been a fourth one-day century.
There was an early wrinkle in the chase, however, with international Martin Guptill out first ball to Trent Boult's opening delivery, then in-form Craig Cachopa retiring hurt after taking a heavy blow on an elbow which left him with a numb hand.
Munro's methods tend to be assertive and he reached 27 briskly but at 49 for two - effectively three - things were interestingly poised.
However, Kitchen, an attractive batsman when in full flow, and Hopkins put on 68 before the skipper holed out to deep mid wicket. From there Kitchen and Colin de Grandhomme made no race of it, sharing an unbroken stand of 87 in 74 balls.
Kitchen showed classy touches yesterday in his 117-ball innings.
Jesse Ryder's sixth one-day century carried Otago to victory over Canterbury in Timaru in the closest game of the opening round.
Canterbury's 303 for nine - led by a brace of 60s from Dean Brownlie and Peter Fulton - wasn't enough as Otago reached 305 for five with 17 balls to spare.
Ryder finished the game with a six. He hit 108 off 88 balls, and shared an unbroken 114-run stand in 90 balls with Nathan McCullum.
Central Districts gave Wellington a walloping in Palmerston North, rolling them for 147 then knocking up 150 for two in just 23.3 overs. Veteran opener Jamie How struck 84 off 64 balls for the winners.
In the second round on Wednesday, CD host Auckland in Nelson, ND play Otago in Hamilton and Canterbury meet Wellington in Christchurch.
The second women's T20 international between New Zealand and the West Indies was washed out in Invercargill yesterday.