Kitchen and Jones put Auckland in pole position
Auckland 300 for 5 (Kitchen 115, Jones 109) lead Central Districts 180 (Ingram 46, Shaw 5-59) by 120 runs
Anaru Kitchen stroked a fluent 115 as Auckland assumed total command at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval. He was given good support by captain Richard Jones, who scored 109, as they ended with a sizeable lead. Central Districts resumed the day on 169 for 8, but Daryl Tuffey ended any hopes of a late charge, removing Jacob Oram and Mitchell McClenaghan in quick succession.
During the reply, Central Districts needed a similar bowling performance similar to Lance Shaw's for Auckland, but their hopes took a knock when fast bowler Michael Mason was forced out of the attack due to injury. Mason though, did manage 3.4 overs, accounting for the in-form Jeet Raval for 4. McClenaghan then dismissed Rob Nicol for 12 as Auckland slipped to 39 for 2, before Kitchen and Jones seized control to put Auckland on course to secure their first first-class trophy since 2004-05.
Kitchen, 25, has made a favourable impression in his maiden first-class season and he continued the good form, sharing a third-wicket stand of 184 with Jones. Kitchen hit 15 boundaries and three sixes during his 180-ball stay, scoring at a rate considerably quickly than Jones, who faced 220 balls for his 15th first-class century.
While Kitchen fell to Brendon Diamanti, Jones was dismissed midway through the final session when he bottom-edged an attempted pull off Ewen Thompson to give wicketkeeper Bevan Griggs his third catch.
It was finally left to wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins and Colin de Grandhomme to safely guide Auckland to stumps.