Canterbury have opened a massive lead atop the Plunket Shield domestic cricket ladder after completing a crushing victory over Otago yesterday.
Their emphatic victory in Christchurch by an innings and 119 runs has seen Canterbury jump 31 points clear of second place with two rounds to go.
After rolling Otago for 140 in their first innings, Canterbury then racked up 432-9 to take maximum first innings bonus points, before Logan Van Beek took 5-43 as they once more ripped through Otago for 173 to claim a dominant win.
The chasing pack is led by Northern Districts and Wellington, but neither side are likely prospects to significantly close the gap going into the last two rounds, needing a big final day to earn outright victories today.
Northern Districts had a debut century from Henry Cooper as their highlight of the day, with Corey Anderson contributing 80 as they reached 334, 127 runs in arrears against Auckland. The Aces then reached 151-2 at stumps, with promising young batsman Glenn Phillips unbeaten on 86.
Auckland still have a sniff at the Plunket Shield title, and with a lead of 278 runs, a declaration is likely today as both teams desperately shoot for an outright victory.
Third-placed Wellington are also facing an uphill battle, leading Central Districts by 68 runs with six wickets in hand going into the final day, and likely needing quick runs followed by a declaration.
Central Districts took a 137-run first innings lead, making 382, led by Will Young's 124.
Matt McEwan took 6-81 for Wellington, who responded well with the bat.
Michael Papps will resume unbeaten on 96 as they reached 205-4, but rain on the first day has potentially left them short of time to make a competitive declaration to manufacture a result.