Cricket: Henry Nicholls guides Canterbury to Ford Trophy title with a match-winning century

Henry Nicholls starred with the bat, notching an unbeaten century as Canterbury lifted the Ford Trophy for just the second time in 12 seasons.

The red and blacks outgunned Northern Districts at Hagley Oval in the domestic cricket one-day decider, chasing down 290 with ease, winning by eight wickets, with five overs to spare.

Winning the toss and batting, Northern Districts looked on track for 320-plus with half-centuries to Katene Clark (82), Joe Carter (70) and Blackcaps all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme (57).

But the home side were able to restrict Northern's late-innings charge, picking up four wickets in the last 10 overs to restrict the Knights to 289/7.

The result was never in doubt after two century stands to open the innings, with Nicholls combining with Chad Bowes (42) and Ken McLure (92) to blunt the Northern attack and seal a first domestic title in 11 years. 

Nicholls' man of the match 127 (144 balls) included 12 fours and he celebrated in style with his international teammate Tom Latham, who struck the winning runs off the last ball of the 45th over. 

Canterbury paceman Will Williams finished the campaign as leading wicket-taker with 20 in 11 matches, followed by Northern's Brett Hampton (18).

Despite Auckland missing out on a playoff spot, Batsman Will O'Donnell topped the run-scoring charts with 537 in 10 matches, including seven 50+ scores.

New Zealand's domestic cricket sides now turn their attention back to the Plunket Shield which has four rounds remaining.