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December 27, 2003
Close Auckland 86 for 4 trail Central Districts 201 (Ingram 105*; Mills 5-50) by 115 runs
Peter Ingram had been struggling through the three earlier rounds of the State Championship, but he had a confidence booster when he carried his bat to achieve a maiden first-class century, finishing on 105 against Auckland at Eden Park's outer oval.
It was just as well that he did because Central Districts were bundled out for 201 after being asked to bat first. Kyle Mills led the Auckland bowling assault, taking 5 for 50 in a fine display. Kerry Walmsley backed him up with 2 for 50 while Brooke Walker took 2 for 18.
Auckland's batsmen found the going tough themselves, as they struggled to 86 for 4 at stumps. Reece Young made 30 before being dismissed, and the side's hopes rested on Matt Horne, who was unbeaten on 17, and Aaron Barnes, on 10. Lance Hamilton had 2 for 22.
Close Otago 398 for 7 (Gaffaney 160, McCullum 63, Hopkins 53) v Wellington
Chris Gaffaney produced an outstanding innings of 160, scored off 254 balls, to put Otago in a powerful position at stumps against Wellington. Gaffaney dominated the day's play after Otago were struggling in the early stages. Their recovery was started by Gaffaney and Robert Lawson, who added 84 for the third wicket. Lawson was out for 42 off 93 balls.
Wellington struck a double blow in the same over, when James Franklin dismissed Marcel McKenzie as well. But any hopes of more quick wickets were stymied as Gareth Hopkins joined Gaffaney for a 134-run stand, with Hopkins scoring 53. After his dismissal, Nathan McCullum joined Gaffaney and they added another 114, as McCullum scored his maiden first-class fifty. He scored 63 off 74 balls.
But he and Gaffaney both fell with the score on 369. By stumps another 29 had been added. Franklin ended the day as the most successful bowler, with figures of 3 for 85 from 21 overs.
Close Northern Districts 206 (Aldridge 48) v Canterbury
It was slow going at Christchurch's Hagley Oval after Northern Districts won the toss and batted first in warm conditions that reached 28 degree celsius during the day. Northern Districts scored 206 off 101.1 overs, a clear indication of how difficult it was to score runs.
Several batsmen got themselves in but found the task of upping the Scoring-rate to be a major problem. Graeme Aldridge, their No. 9 batsman, top-scored with 48 off 94 balls while Grant Robinson scored 24, Mark Orchard 23 and Bruce Martin 22.
All the Canterbury bowlers enjoyed bowling in these conditions. Chris Harris was the most successful of the lot, taking 3 for 45 from 27.1 overs, while Chris Martin took 2 for 36, Haydn Shaw had 2 for 39 and Stephen Cunis two for 44.
When Mitchell Johnson hit Virat Kohli on the helmet with a bouncer, Australian fielders came from everywhere. Mental disintegration had gone, replaced by the cricket unity. Two teams, one family.
From the bouncer that struck him on the badge of his helmet to the bouncer that dismissed him, Virat Kohli's century, and his duel with Mitchell Johnson, made for compelling human drama
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test