State Championship 2003-04 February 26, 2004

Horsley boosts Northern Districts

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Northern Districts 330 for 6 (Horsley 101, Hatwell 68, Hart 64) v Canterbury

Northern Districts' late run of form in the State Championship always had the potential to upset a Canterbury side without two of its key performers. New Zealand opener Michael Papps, and the recalled Chris Harris, who has been captain of the Canterbury side for much of the summer, were both missing.

ND made that most apparent when choosing to bat first at Gisborne and scoring 330 for 6 by stumps. Nick Horsley provided the most significant substance to the innings by scoring 101 in 186 minutes, his third first-class century. With fine support from Matt Hart (64) and Jayden Hatwell (68), ND are well placed to make life distinctly sticky for the Canterbury when they bat.

Chris Martin bowled especially well for Canterbury, taking 2 for 56 from his 21 overs, while Aaron Redmond took 2 for 72.

Wellington 262 for 6 (Parlane 62) v Otago

Wellington, after being asked to bat first at the Basin Reserve by Otago, were caught in something of a No Man's land by stumps. Their 262 for 6 was a reasonable score, but the number of wickets lost offered little chance of a much more substantial score, in a game in which Wellington must take at least first-innings points to keep alive their hopes of securing a final spot.

The disappointing aspect for Wellington was that while every batsman got a start, none was able to provide a base from which to build a commanding innings. Neal Parlane's 62 was the highest score, and the hope for Wellington, going into the second day, must be that Matthew Walker and Chris Nevin, the not out batsmen, can add to their 50-run partnership.

Jeff Wilson continued to prosper on his comeback from injury with 2 for 50, while Matt Harvie took 2 for 62.

Auckland 311 for 8 (Barnes 108) v Central Districts

Aaron Barnes said goodbye to Auckland cricket last summer, intending to spend more time in England for personal reasons, but his unexpected return has been a bonus for the side, none more so than today when he scored his second century in as many innings.

Auckland are at the miracle level of permutations for securing a finals spot, but they scored 311 for 8 after being asked to bat first at Pukekura Park. Barnes scored 108, with 20 boundaries in his three-hour innings, while Rob Nicol threw down a solid anchor in batting for 339 minutes, facing 269 balls, to be 88 not out at stumps.

Ewen Thompson, who had such a feast of wickets in the last game, took 3 for 35 before forced to leave the field with an injury. Glen Sulzberger took 3 for 60 and Lance Hamilton 2 for 79.