New Zealand State Championship December 7, 2003

Auckland batsmen make starts but fail to go on

Auckland 256 for 4 (Vincent 65, Richardson 56, McIntosh 54*, Horne 49, Wilson 3-54) v Otago

Auckland's batting line-up, studded with international players, made the most of the chance to spend some time in the middle against Otago at Eden Park's outer oval before New Zealand's side is selected for the first Test against Pakistan next week. But most would have been disappointed not to have had even more time at the crease. They all made significant starts, but continued to show early seasonitis by getting out too soon.

Mark Richardson was the early figure in the innings, scoring at a much faster clip than his usually more attacking partner Lou Vincent. It was only after Richardson got out that Vincent upped his scoring rate, but he paid the price for loosening up as he fell victim to Jeff Wilson. Matt Horne dominated the middle stages of the day with some attacking strokeplay while the up-and-coming Tim McIntosh was unbeaten at stumps on 54, as he continuing to build on the outstanding promise he has already shown in his brief career.

Wilson demonstrated just how much better prepared he is for this second summer after his retirement from his international rugby career, and bowled with good accuracy and control to take 3 for 54 from 25 overs. Brad Scott, the left-arm medium-fast bowler, complemented Wilson well. Scott had 1 for 46 from 26 overs.

Northern Districts 118 for 2 (Marshall 57*, Orchard 48) trail Central Districts 191 (Sulzberger 43, West 34, Orchard 3-31) by 73 runs

Central Districts may have a side laden with batting potential, but the failure to put a significant innings together resulted in their facing a formidable first-innings deficit against Northern Districts at Gisborne's Harry Barker Reserve.

Central Districts were all out for 191, with Glen Sulzberger, the captain, the last man out for 43. It was the side's highest score. Mark Orchard troubled the batsmen most, and most of the fellow bowlers were also among the wickets as Central Districts were guilty of poor shot selection.

By contrast, apart from the first-over dismissal of Nick Horsley in their reply, the Northern Districts batsmen seemed well set for the long haul with James Marshall, the side's acting captain in the absence of the injured Robbie Hart, unbeaten on 57 at stumps.