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November 23, 2011
Players/Officials: Andrew Ellis | Tim McIntosh | Jeetan Patel | Mathew Sinclair | Kruger van Wyk | BJ Watling | Luke Woodcock
Matches: Canterbury v Central Districts at Rangiora | Otago v Northern Districts at Dunedin | Wellington v Auckland at Lincoln
Series/Tournaments: Plunket Shield
Teams: New Zealand
Persistent rain meant only 219 overs could be bowled at the University Oval in Dunedin, and Northern Districts and Otago had to settle for a draw. Northern Districts stayed top of the table after taking six points from the game on account of passing 350 runs within 110 overs of their first innings and taking seven wickets in Otago's first attempt. The bulk of the action was on the third day, when 105 overs were bowled. Northern Districts had built a base on the second day, after the first day was completely washed out, and had reached 159 for 1 thanks to an opening stand of 96 between BJ Watling and Brad Wilson, who scored 52. Watling took his score to 150 on the third day, and James Marshall, Joseph Yovich and Peter McGlashan all got half-centuries before Northern Districts declared on 482 for 5.
Seamer Graeme Aldridge struck twice to reduce Otago to 24 for 2 on the third day but rain after tea on the final day meant they did not have the opportunity to bowl Otago out in the first innings. They managed to reduce Otago to 210 for 7 though, with Aldridge finishing with 3 for 33 and debutant Mitchell Santner taking 2 for 71.
Canterbury made a strategic declaration on the third day of another truncated game, against Central Districts at the Mainpower Oval in Rangiora, but needed more rain on the fourth day to avoid what could have been two uncomfortable sessions. After the second day was washed out, Canterbury moved to 251 for 6 on the third, in response to Central Districts' first-innings score of 307. At that stage they were ahead on first-innings points, with four for taking all ten Central Districts wickets and one for going past 250 themselves. Central Districts had four: two for reaching 300 and two for taking five wickets. Another wicket would have earned them an extra point but Canterbury declared.
Central Districts pushed for a win and got 288 for 4 in their second innings before declaring just before lunch on the final day with Canterbury chasing 345. Canterbury lost a wicket before lunch but rain washed out the final two sessions denying Central Districts the opportunity to try to take the remaining nine wickets.
Central District had centurions in both their innings. In the first, Kruger van Wyk scored 131 and, along with Carl Cachopa (56) and Tarun Nethula (36), rescued his side from 78 for 5. Fast bowler Andrew Ellis had rocked Central Districts' top order and finished with 4 for 81 but they recovered to score more than 300. Mathew Sinclair was Central Districts' centurion in the second innings, scoring 118 not out off 177 balls. Canterbury's 251 for 6 in the first innings was built on half-centuries by Peter Fulton and Ellis.
An aggressive declaration by Wellington nearly backfired but rain on the fourth day at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln prevented Auckland from pushing for a win after they had Wellington tottering at 86 for 5 chasing 250. After rain washed out the second day, Wellington had declared on 233 for 5 on the third, in response to Auckland's 357 for 7. Their bowlers vindicated that move on the fourth day, with spinners Jeetan Patel and Luke Woodcock combining to bowl Auckland out for 125. That left Wellington with 250 runs to chase in just over two sessions but they slipped to 58 for 5.
Tim McIntosh's century had carried Auckland to a first-innings total of more than 350, giving them three points, while Wellington earned three too for taking seven wickets. Wellington then slipped to 40 for 4 in their first innings before James Franklin's 68 and Woodcock's unbeaten century recued them. They declared before they went past 250, though, and Auckland's five wickets meant they went ahead on first-innings points: five to three.
Wellington then pushed for the win. Patel took 5 for 39 and Woodcock grabbed 4 for 16 as Auckland were skittled in 50.3 overs. Auckland fought back through strikes from Andre Adams and left-arm spinner Bruce Martin but rain intervened before what was poised for a tense finish.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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