State Championship, Round Six, 2nd day March 12, 2006

Mason and Hamilton put Central Districts on top

Cricinfo staff

Mathew Sinclair followed his first-innings century with 53 in the second, as Central Districts finished on 130 for 3 on the second day against Auckland at Palmerston North. Earlier, Michael Mason and Lance Hamilton starred with the ball, taking nine wickets between them as Auckland were bundled out for 180. Mason had exceptional figures of 5 for 26 from 18.5 overs, while Hamilton took 4 for 39. Their combined effort ensured Central Districts ended with a 65-run first-innings lead. By close of play, they had stretched that lead to 195.

Alun Evans was in sight of only his second first-class century as Northern Districts recovered from a poor start to a respectable 158 for 3 at Hamilton, still 208 behind Wellington's first-innings total. Evans was unbeaten on 90 and helped his team bounce back after losing two wickets with only 12 on the board. Wellington's total was largely built around Michael Parlane's 154, an innings which included 26 fours and two sixes. None of the other Wellington batsmen managed even a half-century, with Jeetan Patel's 45 at No.10 being the second-highest.

Otago took charge of their State Championship match against Canterbury at Queenstown. After scoring 384, Otago put in a superb display in the field on the second day, bundling Canterbury out for 114, and then reducing them to 46 for 3 as they followed on. The stars for Otago were James McMillan, a right-arm fast bowler, and Nathan McCullum, an offbreak bowler and the brother of Brendon, New Zealand's wicketkeeper. McMillan got rid of the top order and finished with 4 for 32, while McCullum polished off the tail and ended with 5 for 28, his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.