Bell scores ton as Wellington secure a draw
Matthew Bell, the former New Zealand opener, struck a brilliant 162 as Wellington batted out the last day to earn a draw against Auckland at Eden Park in their State Championship match. Dewayne Bowden, the Wellington lower-order batsman, played a match-saving innings of 79, as his side hung on, eventually losing nine second-innings wickets. After Bell's dismissal with the score on 321 for 7, Wellington were in danger of folding, but Bowden and Mark Gillespie frustrated Auckland, adding 48 for the eighth wicket.
There were tense moments for Wellington when they lost their ninth wicket at 373 but Jeetan Patel and Charlie Shreck withstood the pressure. Bell and Jesse Ryder ensured that they didn't stumble early, with a partnership of 97 for the third wicket. Ryder's innings of 61 included ten fours and a six. Tama Canning took three wickets for Auckland to finish with a match haul of 7 for 103.