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Brownlie, Guptill impress in rain-hit round

File photo - Martin Guptill slammed 151 days after being axed from the Test squad Getty Images

Openers Dean Brownlie and Martin Guptill both scored centuries in the drawn game between Northern Districts and Auckland at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Brownlie, who was to feature for New Zealand A in the cancelled tour game against Pakistan, was involved in two significant partnerships on the first day - 93 for the first wicket with Anton Devcich (26) and 158 for the third with Corey Anderson (103) - and went into stumps unbeaten on 143. Northern Districts were 324 for 5 at stumps, but the prospect of an outright result diminished as the second day was completely washed out. Brownlie was dismissed early on the third day, without adding a run, and Northern Districts added 93 before declaring on 417 for 7. Legspinner Tarun Nethula followed up his five-for in the previous game with 3 for 99, while fast bowler Lachlan Ferguson took 3 for 70, including the wicket of Brownlie.

Auckland's response was aggressive - their run-rate was consistently hovering about six per over for the first 50 overs of their innings. Martin Guptill, who was axed from the Test squad just before this game, was at the crease during those overs. He hit 20 fours and four sixes in his 138-ball 151, before Ish Sodhi (2-113) dismissed him with the score on 295. All of Auckland's regular bowlers were put under pressure by Guptill, and it took part-timer Daryl Mitchell's 4 for 39 to restrict them to 351. No other batsman got past 33.

Rain truncated play on the final day as well, as Northern Districts lost regular wickets on either side of a 63-run stand for the third wicket between Corey Anderson (46*) and Mitchell (26), to be reduced to 83 for 5, courtesy Ferguson's 3 for 19. They played out the 13 overs from that point without the loss of another wicket, and took 8 points from the game that keeps them on top of the table.

Batsman Cole McConchie and captain Andrew Ellis struck centuries for Canterbury in a rain-hit draw against Otago in Invercargill. Otago bowled 98.1 overs with play possible only on the first day and briefly on the second day.

Otago won the toss and put Canterbury in to bat, and seamers Michael Rae and Christi Viljoen prised out the top four batsmen by the 41st over, leaving Canterbury at 108 for 4. McConchie and Ellis then added 258 runs for the fifth wicket, leading Canterbury past 350 before they were separated. Their partnership was Canterbury's best for the fifth wicket against Otago, surpassing the 236 added by Chris Harris and Nathan Astle in 1996-97.

McConchie, playing his seventh first-class match, brought up his half-century off 110 balls before rapidly completing a maiden ton off the next 49 balls. His 103 off 161 deliveries included 15 fours and a six. Ellis, at the other end, brought up his seventh first-class century and surpassed a previous career best of 171 with an aggressive innings. He smacked three sixes in an over and took 21 runs in an over off Viljoen to finish the first day on 184. Ellis, however, fell four runs short of a maiden first-class double-hundred after he was dismissed by Viljoen on a rain-affected day in which only 7.1 overs were bowled. Canterbury eventually declared their innings at 446 for 6.

Rae finished with a career-best 4 for 112 while Viljoen had returns of 2 for 120.