Tom Latham could be lining up behind the stumps against Australia after a seemingly smooth audition with the gloves for Canterbury today.

Either Latham or Wellington keeper Tom Blundell will pull on the gloves for New Zealand in the first ODI on Monday, and Latham played a key role in leading Canterbury to a five-wicket win over Auckland in the Ford Trophy.

While it would be shoddy analysis to make a definitive judgement without having seen all 50 overs of his glovework, Latham was sharp with two stumpings, and helped manufacture a runout as Auckland could only muster 209/8.

No Auckland player went at quicker than a run-a-ball in an innings which was never likely to be competitive, with spinner Tim Johnston (3-30) and seamer Andy Ellis (1-25 from seven) proving the most difficult to get away.

Advertisement

Even the usually rambunctious Glenn Phillips took 65 balls to get 33, and the struggle to score quickly was present throughout the innings.

Rob Nicol top scored with 67, but even that took 90 balls as Auckland stuttered towards setting what proved an easily chaseable total.

Latham made sure of that, backing up his keeping stint by making 59 at the top of the order, displaying the added lineup balance he can provide by multi-tasking with the gloves.

International teammate Henry Nicholls was also at ease at the crease, making 76 as Canterbury eased home with 12 overs to spare and snapped Auckland's unbeaten start to the season.

Also seeing their unbeaten start come to an end were Wellington, who slumped to a 135 run defeat to the now table-topping Northern Districts.

ND's innings was spearheaded by a superb maiden century from 23-year-old Nick Kelly. Kelly came in with his side barely tracking at above three runs per over through 20 overs, with debutant Henry Cooper (22 from 55) having slowed progress.

However, Kelly set an aggressive tone, going one better than his maiden fifty six days ago with a terrific 118 not out, from just 103 balls.

He struck seven fours and five sixes, and got middle-order help from the powerful pair of Scott Kuggeleijn (30 from 20) and Brett Hampton (35 not out from 21) as ND reached 285/6.

Wellington's hopes of chasing the total were quickly scattered by Kuggeleijn, who took three wickets in the first five overs. Hampton, Ish Sodhi and Jono Boult soon chipped in, and Wellington were dismissed for 150 by the 34th over.

In the other match of the round, Otago picked up their first victory of the competition with a win over Central Districts.

Michael Bracewell made 92 as Otago compiled 287, and despite 63 from Will Young and another fine knock (44 from 49 balls) by rising star Josh Clarkson, CD fell 23 runs short.

Ford Trophy Table through five rounds: ND 15, Auckland 15, Wellington 14, Canterbury 11, Otago 6, CD 4