Just one point separates the top four on the Ford Trophy ladder after a thrilling finish highlighted today's round.

None of the top three sides picked up victory, and they were joined in the top of the table logjam by Canterbury, who claimed a two-run victory over Northern Districts in one of the most absorbing contests of the season.

Canterbury won the toss and decided to bat at Hagley Oval, and had Henry Nicholls to thank for the bulk of their 275/7.

Nicholls was a one-man show throughout most of the innings, blasting 140 from 125 balls to keep Canterbury flowing amidst another superb spell of bowling from Scott Kuggeleijn, who claimed 3-29 from 10 overs.

Advertisement

20 year old Jack Boyle continued his prolific-but-slow start to his career with 43 from 76 balls, and late hitting from Cole McConchie (28* from 20) and Tim Johnston (27* from 13) gave Canterbury an above-par total by smoking 62 from their last five overs.

ND's batting lineup consisted of an inexperienced top four, but one of the strongest middle orders in the competition, and their run chase showcased that.

Reduced to 98/5, the visitors were in deep trouble, but Daryl Mitchell's run-a-ball 57 combined with a career-best innings from Tim Seifert to put ND within reach.

Seifert is alongside Auckland's Glenn Phillips as the most exciting young wicketkeeper batsmen in New Zealand, and he proved his promise with a debut one-day century off just 85 balls.

The equation still looked unlikely until two overs to go, where Seifert smashed two stunning sixes of Andy Ellis, dragging ND to needing just five from the final over with two wickets left.

However, Ish Sodhi was dismissed off the first ball, and then Seifert fell two balls later trying to scoop Logan Van Beek as his Marcus Stoinis-like showing came to a similar end, with Van Beek ending as the hero with 4-55.

ND and Canterbury are both on 15 points, as are Auckland, who fell to Otago in a run-fest.

Otago had seven players contribute with the bat as they reached 340/7, led by import Michael Rippon's 83 before 20-year-old Josh Finnie crushed an unbeaten 73 from 46 balls to set an intimidating total.

Auckland had five players reach 35 in their response, but nobody could keep up with the asking rate as they fell 33 runs short.

Wellington lead the competition on 16 points after their clash against Central Districts was abandoned after 30 overs, with CD's international hopeful George Worker left unbeaten on 80 when the rain fell.