Martin Guptill and Auckland Aces are involved in a three team fight for the Plunket Shield title moving into the final two rounds of the 2018-2019 campaign.
Worcestershire CCC’s 2019 Vitality Blast signing and his Aces team-mates head to Rangiora tomorrow to face Canterbury in the four-day encounter.
Guptill and Co are currently lying second in the table with three wins, two draws and one defeat from their six games.
They are 12 points behind leaders Central Districts – but just one ahead of Canterbury.
Guptill, who is available for the bulk of the Vitality Blast this summer including any potential quarter-final or finals days, made his first appearance in the tournament against Northern Districts and scored 120 and 42.
It continued on from his fine form for New Zealand when he hit back to back hundreds in ODIs against Bangladesh.
Auckland wrap up their programme with another away clash with Otago starting on March 16.
Guptill will then head to the Indian Premier League to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad – his third stint in the competition after previously appearing for Mumbai Indians (2016) and Kings X1 Punjab (2017).
The 32-year-old will then be part of the Black Caps World Cup squad before heading to Blackfinch New Road for 11 of the 14 Blast group games.
PLUNKET SHIELD LEADING POSITIONS
Central Districts – Played 6, Points 83
Auckland – Played 6, Points 71
Canterbury – Played 6, Points 70