NZ State Championship, 4th round, 2nd day November 30, 2006

Sinclair posts century for Central Districts

Central Districts v Northern Districts
No play was possible on the 2nd day of Central Districts' match against Northern Districts and Auckland's against Wellington because of inclement weather.

On day one Mathew Sinclair sent a message to the New Zealand selectors with another first-class century for Central Districts. In the friendly confines of Lincoln's Bert Sutcliffe Oval Sinclair's 109 was the best of a consistent Central top order which racked up an imposing 366 for 5 against Northern.

The defending champions are early season favourites to repeat and when four players in your top six pass 50 and another, Ross Taylor, scores 47, it is easy to see why.

The only jarring note came when international Jacob Oram went for a duck. Greg Hay, who was left unbeaten on 98 in Central's first-round victory against Wellington, was unbeaten overnight on 62. Openers Jamie How (50) and Geoff Barnett (59) also impressed. Bruce Martin was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 72 from 28 overs. Central will surely look to push on well past 500 on day three.

Auckland v Wellington
Iain O'Brien and Mark Gillespie showed what an attacking duo they can be at first-class level, taking eight wickets between them as Auckland crashed to 245 all out on the first day of this match in Christchurch.

O'Brien scooped the honours, taking 5 for 57 off 23 overs while Gillespie's 3 for 43 off 21 was scarcely less impressive. Only Rob Nicol with 85 and Richard Jones with 62 stopped the rot.

Auckland were criticised for their negative tactics in securing first innings points against Otago last week. Yesterday would have done nothing for them to lose their reputations as the King Blockers of the competition, their 245 coming off 93.3 long overs. At stumps Wellington were 2 without loss.

Dylan Cleaver is senior sports writer of Herald on Sunday