Wellington 300 and 37 for 3 (Hamilton 2-15) need a further 197 runs to beat Central Districts 312 and 221 (Taylor 106, Thompson 67)
A flurry of wickets on the penultimate day of the State Championship final at the Basin Reserve paved the way for an interesting climax with both Wellington and Central Districts in a position to force outright victories.
In sharp contrast to the first three days, the batsmen showed a sense of urgency, as Central Districts, powered by an aggressive ton by Ross Taylor, were bowled out for 221 in only 53 overs, giving them an overall lead of 233. Wellington stumbled in their pursuit of the target, finishing the fourth day on 37 for 3, still 197 away from victory.
Earlier, Wellington fell 12 short of getting the first-innings lead as Michael Mason and Min Patel quickly got rid of the last two wickets. The two were the most effective bowlers for Central Districts, sharing seven wickets between them.
Central Districts got off to a disastrous start in their second innings, losing their first couple of wickets with just a run on the board. However, Taylor and Ewen Thompson countered the bowling with some lusty hitting, with both batsmen scoring at over a run-a-ball. Taylor's reached his century off 98 balls and his 107-ball 106 included 13 fours. The pair added 92 for the sixth wicket before Taylor was caught by Grant Elliot off Dewayne Bowden. Thompson lacked support from the other end as Jesse Ryder cleaned up the lower order to finish with figures of 3 for 21. Thompson rounded off a productive domestic season with an unbeaten 67 off only 64 balls with seven fours and three sixes.
Lance Hamilton, the Central Districts opening bowler, applied the pressure immediately when Wellington began their run-chase, getting rid of both openers, including Matthew Bell, the captain and in-form batsman. There was further disaster for Wellington as Ryder, their other prolific player, fell to Michael Mason for 4, as Central Districts finished the day strongly.