An unbeaten 88 from Corey Anderson wasn't enough to save defending champions State Canterbury Wizards from defeat in their opening State Championship match against State Auckland Aces at Rangiora today.
Anderson and No 11 batsman Hamish Bennett resumed this morning with Canterbury down and out at 280 for nine after a late afternoon batting collapse yesterday.
Chasing 405 for the win, Anderson, batting at No 8, methodically laid into Auckland's bowling, moving from 39 overnight to 88 not out before Bennett was caught by wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins off the bowling of Lance Shaw for one to give the Aces a 73-run victory.
Anderson's 88 came from 86 balls, and included 10 fours and three sixes as he brought Canterbury close to an improbable victory.
For Auckland, a balanced bowling attack was spearheaded by Colin de Grandhomme, who took 3-37 off 12 overs, and rookie legspinner Tarun Nethula, who claimed 3-83.