Northern on Verge of Lead After Tight Win

Northern Districts climbed to within sight of the State Shield one-day cricket competition lead after scraping to a three-wicket defeat of Otago in Whangarei today.

After six rounds, Northern are a point behind Central Districts, who they will host at the same Cobham Oval ground on Wednesday.

They will seek to reproduce the same bowling performance that dismissed Otago for 238 in 49.5 overs but will want more consistency from the batting, after overhauling their target with just three balls to spare.

In a match in which 13 players reached double figures, the top-scorer was Northern wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan with 51.

His 58-ball knock, ending an ordinary run of form, also proved to be the decisive one in the latter stages of his team's stuttering chase.

While Northern had the upper hand for much of their pursuit, the regular loss of wickets meant they never felt safe.

Michael Parlane contributed 44 and Kane Williamson 43 while Ian Butler was a revelation for Otago, taking three for 34.

The Northern equivalent with the ball was Joseph Yovich, the experienced seamer taking three for 37, including the vital wicket of Craig Cumming first ball.

In-form opener Shaun Haig top-scored with 50 for the visitors, who drop to fifth, while Derek de Boorder's 43 and Nathan McCullum's 39 in the middle order helped an innings that was floundering at 117 for five.

NZPA

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