Canning lords over Northerns
2nd day Auckland 300 for 6 (Canning 52*, Jones 58, Tuffey 3-63) lead Northern Districts 237 (Canning 6-44) by 63 runs
Northern Districts' lower order attempted to add more substance to their overnight total of 185 for 7 but only John Watling was able to stick around, and he scored 37 in two hours. They managed to reach 237, but Auckland went past easily, reaching 300 for 6.
After Ryan Shutte was dismissed for eight, Daryl Tuffey hit a six and two fours in a 23-ball innings of 18. However, it was too little too late as the destroyer of the first day, Tama Canning, returned to polish off the innings and end with career-best figures of 6 for 44 as Northern were all out for 237.
Auckland, filled with heavyweights, responded solidly. After an opening stand of 90 between Mark Richardson and Richard Jones, the rest kept up the good show. Richardson, who struggled in his earlier batting in the internationals against Bangladesh and Australia, spent 136 minutes at the crease over his 46 while Jones scored 58 in 158 minutes.
Matt Horne, batting at No 3, hit 38, Lou Vincent scored 49 and Aaron Barnes had 29, while Canning, whose day only got better, remained unbeaten on 52.
1st day Central Districts 103 for 2 (How 63) trail Otago 193 by 90 runs
Otago, the home team, stumbled to 193 in frigid conditions at Queenstown when Central Districts asked them to bat first. From the first ball of their season, Otago were on the back foot - their captain, Craig Cumming, was bowled by Michael Mason.
It soon became a genuine struggle for the Otago batsmen and, at 68 for 5, the situation looked dire. However, Aaron Redmond and Greg Todd, both making their debuts for the side, provided some welcome resistance while adding 81 runs for the sixth wicket. Redmond scored 69 off 126 balls and Todd hit 30 in 137 minutes.
But their gritty efforts were cut short when Glen Sulzberger, Central Districts' captain, arrived at the bowling crease. He put the clamps on the batsmen in a 12-over spell and took 3 for 14. Andrew Schwass also revelled in the conditions to take 3 for 50.
CD started assuredly with an opening stand worth 41 runs before Peter Ingram was dismissed. Geoff Barnett, who followed, had a bad debut when he was dismissed for zero. Both wickets fell to James McMillan.
Jamie How continued to demonstrate the skill and application that have been his hallmark to reach 63 off 87 at stumps.
1st day Canterbury 184 for 2 (Bell 86) v Wellington
The Hagley Oval pitch has rarely caused sufficient discomfort to make life difficult, even early on the first day. So it was a surprise when Canterbury put Wellington in to bat. Wellington demonstrated so with a 76-run opening stand in 131 minutes.
Wellington set out to occupy the crease, but had a minor hiccup when Michael Parlene fell for 29. Luke Woodcock then joined Matthew Bell, and they continued to keep the pressure on the home attack. Bell was quick to latch onto anything short and played the pull with good effect. But he was on 86, with his 14th first-class century beckoning, when he was trapped leg-before by Paul Wiseman.
Then Neal Parlene ran up a quick 20 which contained a superb shot through midwicket off his legs and a cover-driven boundary. His innings was cut short for the day when rain interrupted the day's play.