The Auckland cricketers have taken a big step towards claiming a place in the Twenty20 final after beating Canterbury by 12 runs at Colin Maiden Park.
Auckland scored 180 for 8 and then restricted Canterbury to 168 for 9.
It is Auckland's 5th win and takes them 6 points clear of Northern Districts who were beaten by Wellington by 43 runs in Hamilton.
Jesse Ryder scored 86 from 46 balls in Wellington's total of 202 and Northern were dismissed for 159.
Central play Otago in New Plymouth today.
The top two sides will meet in the final on January 2nd.