State Championship, 2006-07 February 28, 2007

Auckland face uphill task

Cricinfo staff

Neal Parlane's century put Wellington in a commanding position against Auckland at the end of the third day at the Basin Reserve . Parlane struck 135 to lift his side to 390 in their second innings, setting Auckland 320 to win. Chris Martin followed up his good performance from the first innings to finish with a five-wicket haul. Auckland, in their reply stumbled to 62 for 5 after seamer Iain O'Brien made early inroads with three wickets. David Houpapa and Reece Young led the revival to push the score to 141 at stumps. With Andre Adams the last recognised batsman to come, the pressure will be on the visitors to stave off a defeat on the final day.

Sporting declarations by Otago and Canterbury paved the way for a result at Village Green in Christchurch , with Otago requiring a further 403 for an outright win. Otago declared at 265 in their first innings without losing a wicket through the day. Aaron Redmond brought up his second first-class century, finishing on 135 while Greg Todd remained unbeaten on 68. With a lead of 203, Canterbury then blitzed their way to 234 in just 38 overs. Todd Astle made a quick 55 off just 28 balls while Shanan Stewart contributed 97 off 98 balls. Andrew Ellis, with a half century, and captain Chris Harris stretched the lead to 437 before Harris made his second declaration of the match. Otago began steadily with the openers adding 35 at stumps.

Northern Districts bagged a first-innings lead of 211 against Central Districts at Gisborne after compiling 516. It was a thorough batting performance by Northerns with all their batsmen crossing double figures. James Marshall was unlucky to fall one short of his ton and, after his dismissal, Nick Horsley led the charge with 66. The lower order and tail chipped in to push the score past 500. Centrals' reply started shakily, the openers going with just six on the board. However Mathew Sinclair and Greg Hay led the recovery with an 84-run stand for the third wicket. Centrals finished at 108 for 3, with Hay remaining unbeaten on 52 off just 55 balls.