Latest - Auckland are the early leaders in domestic cricket's Plunket Shield four-day championship after all three first-round matches produced results.
The Aces claimed an innings victory over Otago inside three days, while Canterbury beat defending champions Wellington, and Central Districts claimed a surprising win over Northern Districts as the sun finally came out in Hamilton.
Starting day three at 13-1 in their second innings, Otago were all out for just 54 at Eden Park Outer Oval, their lowest total since the 1988/89 season.
Auckland's Sean Solia's claimed his maiden five-wicket bag of 5-8, while Black Caps seamer Kyle Jamieson added three second innings wickets to finish with match figures of 8-45.
Double declarations after three days heavily impacted by rain set up a chase of 254 for the Stags on the final day at Seddon Park.
A 177-run opening stand between George Worker (96) and Greg Hay (93) set things up, before a brisk 43 from Will Young took the visitors to a seven-wicket win with just 26 balls to spare in the match.
In Wellington, a brisk 86 from Black Caps test opener Tom Latham helped Canterbury to an eight-wicket victory over the Firebirds.
The Cantabrians reached their 122-run target before lunch on the final day at the Basin Reserve, for the loss of just two wickets.
Nix women's side close to confirmation
The Wellington Phoenix are reportedly set to confirm the creation of the club's first-ever women's team which would play in the upcoming W-league season.
ESPN reported the proposal was cleared by club owners earlier this week, leaving the Phoenix nine weeks to organise a team for next season, which started on December 27.
An issue remained relating to the licence fee payment due by the club but it was hoped that could soon be resolved.
ABC was reporting that the team would be based in Wollongong for the entire season due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
Phoenix general manager David Dome said in June the time was right to push for a W-League licence.
Football Ferns head coach Tom Sermanni told ESPN, if confirmed, the move would be significant for New Zealand women's football.
England-Barbarians match in doubt
England Rugby is reviewing whether their non-cap match against Barbarians can go ahead as scheduled on Monday (NZ time) after several Barbarian players breached COVID-19 quarantine protocols.
On Thursday, a number of Barbarian players left their hotel rooms without permission of the organisers.
Those players were separated from the rest of the group on their return and were expelled from the Barbarians squad for the weekend.
The Barbarians said they were extremely disappointed with the conduct of their players involved in the protocol breach.
Eddie Jones' England are hoping to get some game time at Twickenham ahead of their final Six Nations game in Italy on October 31.
Roglic holds onto red jersey
Dan Martin claimed victory on stage three of the Vuelta a Espana as early race leader Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma also put in a strong showing to remain in red.
Israel Start-Up Nation's rider Martin attacked in the last 200 metres of the final climb to Laguna Negra's summit finish, holding off 2019 Vuelta winner Roglic of Slovenia and Ineos's Ecuadorean Richard Carapaz in the battle to the line.
New Zealand's George Bennett, a team-mate of Roglic, finished 55 seconds back of Martin in 19th and was 10th in the general classification.
Meanwhile Dutchman Wilco Kelderman took over as leader of the Giro d'Italia as the fearsome Stelvio climb blew the race apart during a brutal stage 18 battle.
The Sunweb rider began the day 17 seconds behind long-time race leader Joao Almeida of Deceuninck Quick-Step, whose hopes of wearing the maglia rosa all the way to Milan were shattered.
Australian Jai Hindley thrust himself into contention by winning the stage the rider from Perth moving into second place overall, just 12 seconds behind his teammate Kelderman.
2020 regrets for dominant Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has played some of the best tennis of his life in 2020 but he regrets the failure to win either the US Open or the French Open in his bid to become the world's most trophy-laden player.
Having won the Australian Open in January, the world number one was disqualified at the US Open after inadvertently hitting a line judge in the neck with a petulant swipe of the ball during his fourth-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.
He was then blown away by world number two Rafael Nadal in straight sets at Roland Garros.
Djokovic has 17 grand slam titles while Nadal and Federer are on 20 each after the Spaniard clinched a record 13th French Open title.
Djokovic dismissed suggestions he was under intense pressure to overhaul Nadal and Federer in their three-way race to become the greatest male player of all time.
All clear for India in Australia
Cricket Australia have been given the all clear for the India squad to quarantine in Sydney ahead of their blockbuster test series around the New Year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday.
The tourists had been scheduled to arrive in Brisbane and undergo quarantine there before playing six short-form internationals in Queensland and moving on to Adelaide for the first test in early December.
With time running out before the arrival of the players next month, and negotiations with Queensland health officials stalling over aspects of Cricket Australia's plans, however, the governing body started exploring other options.
The Sydney Morning Herald said the New South Wales government had approved CA's plans only 72 hours after they were lodged, clearing the way for the tourists to arrive in Sydney and play the short form matches there and in Canberra.