State Championship, Round Five, 1st day February 27, 2006

Northern Districts fritter away solid start

Well placed at 158 for 2, Northern Districts would have been happy with their progress against Canterbury on a revamped Seddon Park ground in Hamilton. At the end of the day and all out for 269, the smiles would have long faded as Northerns collapsed woefully against Chris Harris's wobbly deliveries. Opener Nick Horsley (60) and Alun Evans (53) laid the platform, but nobody in Northern's notoriously fragile batting line-up could capitalise. Harris took 4 for 46 and Brandon Hiini 3 for 46 as Canterbury polished off the tail before stumps.

Mathew Sinclair and opener Geoff Barnett put on a record second-wicket partnership for Central Districts against Otago at New Plymouth. However Central will be disappointed with their stumps position of 275 for 6 when you consider Sinclair (121) and Barnett (94) were together for 213 of those runs. The day was truncated by four overs due to showers but Otago had bowled themselves back into the game with two wickets apiece to Warren McSkimming, David Sewell and Bradley Scott.

Top met bottom in Wellington and that was obvious as the home team bundled out woeful Auckland for 235 with Tim Lythe (66) the only player to pass 50. James Franklin, the discarded New Zealand swing bowler, took 3 for 46 and national prospect Mark Gillespie continued his impressive wicket-taking form with 3 for 66. In reply Wellington reached 59 for 1 at stumps with Matthew Bell not out on 32 and Michael Parlane on 14.

Dylan Cleaver is senior sports writer of Herald on Sunday