Bond the difference in top of the table thriller

Shane Bond was at his blistering best as Canterbury ended Northern Districts' winning streak in a State Shield one-day cricket thriller at Hamilton today.

The State Canterbury Wizard's five-run win at Seddon Park sees them qualify second following the completion of final-round of State Shield matches today and they will host third-placed the Otago in the semifinal on Wednesday.

The winners of that match will face top qualifiers the State Northern Knights in Hamilton on Sunday. Northern will look to regroup after suffering their first loss in five matches.

Former international pace man Bond knocked the top off their run chase and held his nerve in a dramatic final over to keep the visitors' season alive.

It was the final over that ended the innings of two Northern century-makers -- Peter McGlashan and Kane Williamson -- who appeared to have swung the match their way in a record-breaking partnership.

Chasing Canterbury's 274 for eight, Northern were floundering at 66 for five inside 16 overs.

However, the pair combined to put on a remarkable 192 at better than a run-a-ball, the highest sixth-wicket stand in the New Zealand domestic one-day game.

It easily surpassed 142 shared by Stephen Fleming and Chris Cairns for Canterbury against Central Districts 15 years ago.

With Northern needing 14 off the final over, Bond snared the wicket of McGlashan off the first ball, caught in the deep for 112.

It was a remarkable 94-ball knock from the Northern wicketkeeper, who was Northern's hero with consecutive sixes from the last two balls to beat Wellington last weekend. He struck eight fours and six sixes in a whirlwind knock.

Bond then applied the brakes with his pace and accuracy, with Williamson run out for 100 off his 128 ball when chasing a second run. Williamson's more controlled innings comprised seven fours and two sixes.

Northern's chase finished just short at 269 for seven.

Bond claimed four for 55, meaning he has bagged 12 wickets in Canterbury's last four games as they surged from last place on the table. He has also moved into third place in the overall State Shield MVP standings.

The late excitement overshadowed a superb maiden one-day century for Shanan Stewart, who peppered the boundaries with 11 fours and five sixes on his way to 120.

The 90-ball knock was the continuation of some sharp recent form and he shared a crucial 139 run stand for the fifth wicket with Corey Anderson, who scored 71 off 70 balls.

Seamer Trent Boult, a surprise selection this week in the New Zealand squad, showed he was primed to perform in the tour of Australia starting next week.

He snared the best Northern bowling figures of three for 48, clean bowling Stewart and Bond in the final over of the innings.

NZPA

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