NZ State Championship January 3, 2004

Papps continues to plunder

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Close Canterbury 352 for 6 (Papps 130, Fulton 68, Harris 61*) v Auckland

Michael Papps continued his outstanding summer by scoring 130 for Canterbury to celebrate his selection as the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association `Player of the month'. Canterbury ended the day at 352 for 6, playing Auckland in a battle between the two top teams in the State Championship.

Chris Harris, the Canterbury captain, won the toss and decided to bat first. Soon, Papps was back into the scoring groove that has marked his summer. Though Shanan Stewart, his opening partner, was run out for 15, Papps settled in with another batting star, Peter Fulton, to put up a 163-run stand. On 68, Fulton stepped out to play a delivery by Brooke Walker, missed, and was stumped.

A few runs later, Kerry Walmsley claimed the first of his three victims, dismissing Gary Stead. A 75-run partnership then developed between Harris and Papps, who was sent back by Aaron Barnes. Neil Broom and Aaron Redmond fell quickly, adding two more to Walmsley's tally, and almost nothing to the team total. Paul Wiseman then scored an unbeaten 23 to support Harris's 61 not out.

Close Central Districts 325 for 8 (How 169, Sinclair 62, Scott 4-89) v Otago

Central Districts also enjoyed a good first day against Otago, scoring 325 for 8 at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. Like Canterbury, an opener shepherded the team. Jamie How racked up 169, with 26 boundaries and two over the top, to score more than half of his team's total.

Mathew Sinclair (62) and How garnered 151 runs for the second wicket, but Sinclair's dismissal heralded a middle-order collapse. With the score on 300, How became Brad Scott's fourth wicket. By stumps, Bevan Griggs had scored a resolute 37 not out to keep the bowlers at bay, and prevent a complete collapse.

Close Wellington 250 (Walker 94*) lead Northern Districts 15 for 0 by 235 runs

Meanwhile at Hamilton, Wellington were staring down the barrel, until their last four batsmen - all bowlers - put on more runs than anyone else, to take their team to a total of 250 against Northern Districts.

Matthew Walker, the No. 8 batsman, scored an unbeaten 94, with 17 hits to the ropes, after Wellington were hustled by the faster bowlers and found themselves at 88 for 7. Luke Woodcock (41) then put on 80 with Walker before falling. A 74-run partnership with Jeetan Patel proceeded, and just as Walker neared what would have been his second first-class century, Patel was dismissed for 22.

By the end of the day, ND's openers managed to negotiate the fast bowlers for eight overs, scoring 15 for no loss.