Fighting second innings efforts by Whanganui's Ben Smith and expat Tom Bruce helped Central Districts to a 74 run win over Northern Districts when their Plunket Shield match concluded in Mt Maunganui on Saturday.

Being 169 runs ahead on the first innings, the Stags were bowled out for 202 with six batsmen in single figures, after Black Caps bowlers Trent Boult and Neil Wagner got nine wickets between them.

The Stags only made that many because of Smith reaching 52 and Bruce scoring 60.

After a cheap dismissal in the first innings, Smith's half century came off 79 balls with 10 boundaries, while Bruce followed up his 71 not out in the first innings by also facing 79 balls and hitting seven boundaries.

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Set a target of 374 to win, Northern were bowled out for 299, with part time spinner Brad Schmulian taking 4-34.