Veteran bowler Chris Martin shone for the Auckland Aces as they bowled out the Northern Knights cheaply to win at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Auckland's second innings ended this morning with no addition to their overnight score of 259 for nine, leaving Northern Districts, who had already taken first innings points, seeking 197 runs for an outright win.
Chris Martin, and Bruce Martin combined to chop the top off the Northern batting lineup which never recovered from the early setbacks.
They still had a chance to win the match when they went to tea needing another 41 runs with three wickets in hand but Chris Martin knocked over tailenders Trent Boult and James Baker in quick succession on resumption for match figures of nine for 127.
Bruce Martin put the finishing touches by winkling out a stubborn Brook Hatwell for 33 after a 200-minute vigil.
With three rounds to go, Central Districts remain top of the table with 28 points followed by Northern on 26, Canterbury with 23 and Otago 22.
Wellington on 17 need to win all their remaining games to stay in the running while Auckland are on just eight points.
The other match, between hosts the Otago Volts and Central Stags petered out to a draw after heavy overnight rain rendered the University Oval unfit for play all day which left Central claiming first innings points.