Canterbury has a poor record in recent seasons with its pre-season performances, although the results have improved markedly at Shell series level.
Yesterday Canterbury was challenged to make Central's 165. With Black Caps Stephen Fleming and Craig McMillan in its line-up, Canterbury might have been favoured but a tight bowling display carried Central home in the low-scoring game.
Canterbury coach Garry MacDonald said a combination of good bowling from Central and a lack of application from some Canterbury batsmen contributed to the defeat.
Central wicketkeeper Martyn Sigley took four catches and made a stumping. His Canterbury counterpart Ben Yock made three stumpings and grafted best of the Canterbury batsmen.
Earlier, Central appeared on target for a bigger score when it was 114 for two but Canterbury's slow bowlers Hamish Barton and Carl Anderson prompted a decline. Central's innings was built around a well-compiled 47 from No. 3 Jacob Oram.
Canterbury's top-order batsmen struggled against the Central attack with former New Zealand player Andrew Penn bowling well in his comeback from injury. Penn removed McMillan with a fine delivery.
Fleming would have been disappointed with his dismissal as he advanced down the wicket to Matthew Walker.