Auckland have comprehensively beaten Northern Districts by 140 runs in the sixth round of the Plunket Shield played at Eden Park outer oval.
Northern Districts Captain Daniel Flynn won the toss and decided to bowl first on a pitch which provided some assistance for the seamers. Northern District's seamer James Baker was the stand out bowler capturing his best first class figures of 6 for 72. Glenn Phillips top scored for Auckland with 93 while Michael Guptill-Bunce (58) and Sean Solia (56) scored half centuries. Auckland posted 339 in their first innings.
In reply Tim Seifert top scored for Northern Districts with 78 while promising opening batsman Henry Cooper made 60. Auckland made inroads into the middle order as Matt McEwan claimed a hat trick by removing Dean Brownlie (26) and both BJ Watling and Darryl Mitchell without scoring. McEwan was the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 60 while Ben Lister and Jamie Brown claimed two wickets a-piece. Eventually Northern Districts were dismissed for 237 with Auckland taking a first innings lead of 102.
In order to stay in the match Northern District's bowlers needed to restrict Auckland in their second innings. Batsman Sean Solia was the top scorer for Auckland with 45 continuing on from his half century in the first innings. The Northern Districts bowling unit captured wickets at regular intervals and at one stage Auckland were reeling at 127/7 before Matt McEwan (30) provided some lower order resistance. Auckland were finally dismissed for 199. Brent Arnel was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 58 while Scott Kuggeleijn, James Baker and Daryl Mitchell claimed two wickets a-piece.
Northern Districts would need 302 for victory. The Auckland bowlers knocked off the top of batting line up leaving Northern Districts at 5 for 72. BJ Watling top scored with 45 and combined for a 6th wicket partnership of 61 with Tim Seifert (21) to give Northern Districts a glimmer of hope. When both batsman were dismissed Northern Districts faced an uphill battle and eventually lost their last three wickets in quick succession. Northern Districts were dismissed for 161.
Northern Districts sit fourth place on the Plunket Shield table with 45 points. They now face Canterbury in the seventh round of the competition starting on 9th of March at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.Match report courtesy of Adam Bell on behalf of Northern Districts Cricket.