Wellington 163 for 6 (Elliott 52, Bennett 4-37) trail Canterbury 215 (Papps 46, O'Brien 5-70) by 52 runs

Hamish Bennett's four wickets helped keep the State Championship final evenly balanced after Canterbury were dismissed for 215 on the second day. Bennett grabbed 4 for 37 as Wellington reached 163 for 6 in their reply, trailing by 52 runs when bad light stopped play.

The home side had moved their score along to 90 for 2 when Bennett snared two wickets in two balls. Neal Parlane was caught behind for 39 after building a handy 72-run stand with Grant Elliott, before Stephen Gellatly was also caught by Kruger van Wyk next delivery.

Elliott, who made an unbeaten 196 in his last game, had to settle for 52 this time when he was bowled by Leighton Burtt and one run later Wellington lost Chris Nevin, who was lbw to Bennett. Luke Woodcock was on 19 at stumps and Dewayne Bowden had 18.

Wellington had made a shaky start, losing Matthew Bell for 3 and Michael Parlane for 11 after Iain O'Brien's five wickets appeared to put them on top. O'Brien finished with 5 for 70 and picked up the last two victims to end Canterbury's innings after they added 50 on the second day, with Brandon Hiini remaining unbeaten on 31.