NZ State Championship, 5th round, 3rd day December 9, 2006

Auckland set to chase 271

Canterbury v Auckland
An out-of-form Lou Vincent will hold the key for Auckland in their chase for 271. Vincent was 26 not out at stumps and it will require all his skills for the home team to post the highest total of the match to steal an outright victory over Canterbury, who have already secured first innings points. Canterbury were dismissed for 200 with captain Chris Harris leading from the front with 52. Andre Adams was chief destroyer with 5 for 58. Richard Jones (1) and Tim McIntosh (2) were dismissed early as Auckland's chase started disastrously.

Central Districts v Otago
Central Districts will be faced with the task of batting for time to salvage a draw against Otago who plundered 624 against them, at Napier. Starting their second innings 230 behind, Central got off to a good start despite the loss of Peter Ingram. Central were 102 for 1 at stumps, with Geoff Barnett (51) still at the crease. Earlier in the day, Gareth Hopkins posted a century and was unbeaten on 126 when Otago were all out.

Wellington v Northern Districts
Rain continues to play havoc with this match as Wellington seek an innings victory over Northern Districts at Hamilton. Resuming at 83 for 5, Northern showed some grit to get through to 253, with Peter McGlashan notching 50. It was not enough to avoid the follow-on though and Wellington, with pace bowlers Iain O'Brien and Mark Gillespie in good form, will be hoping for a full day to have a crack at Northern's weak batting line-up tomorrow.

Dylan Cleaver is senior sports writer of Herald on Sunday