Cricket: Canterbury stay unbeaten

By Niall Anderson

Peter Fulton top-scored for Canterbury. Photo / photosport.co.nz
Peter Fulton top-scored for Canterbury. Photo / photosport.co.nz

Canterbury have continued their unbeaten start to the one-day campaign with a comprehensive six wicket win over Auckland today.

A restrictive bowling display on the small confines of Eden Park Outer Oval was the key to a victory which sees Canterbury shoot seven points clear at the top of the Ford Trophy table.

Auckland made 243-7 after being sent into bat, with wicketkeeper Brad Cachopa being the mainstay throughout the innings, coming in at first drop to make a vital 107.

However, with wickets falling around him regularly, Cachopa's usually sedate strike rate was stretched to pedestrian levels, his innings taking 146 balls as the captain played the anchor role to try and see Auckland through to a defendable target.

Michael Guptill-Bunce (43 from 37) and Donovan Grobbelaar (an unbeaten 45 from 38 balls) were the only other Auckland batsmen to reach 20, as the Cantabrian bowlers controlled the contest.

Todd Astle took 3-44 for the visitors in an influential spell, while Andy Ellis (1-43 from nine overs) and Kyle Jamieson (1-33 from nine overs) kept Auckland's scoring rate in check with economical offerings.

Canterbury decided to take an attacking approach in their response, with openers Tom Latham and Ronnie Hira playing aggressively to begin the chase.

Hira made 31 from 33 balls to kick-start the innings, while Latham struck a 50-ball 42 before being trapped in front by Tarun Nethula.

Although Grobbelaar slowed the flow of runs by going for just 15 from his opening spell of five overs, recent Black Caps debutant Henry Nicholls proved potent, marking his return back to domestic cricket with a valuable 56.

Nicholls was the third wicket to fall with 63 further runs needed, and Peter Fulton took control from there, blasting four sixes in a 55-ball 65 as Canterbury eventually cruised to victory with 12 overs remaining.

Canterbury have now won four of their five games, with the other being rained out, while Auckland picked up their second loss of the campaign.

Two games are scheduled for tomorrow, with the Northern Knights hosting the Otago Volts in Whangarei, while Ben Wheeler and Doug Bracewell will return for the Central Stags when they take on the Wellington Firebirds in Palmerston North.

- NZ Herald

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