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Debutant Schmulian breaks 136-year-old record in Central's draw

The highlight of the drawn match between Central Districts and Northern Districts was Brad Schmulian's record 203, the highest score by a New Zealand batsman on first-class debut.

Schmulian's double-hundred surpassed the previous record of 175 held by Canterbury's George Watson in the 1880-81 season, and single-handedly anchored Central Districts to a first-innings total of 313 for 7 after they had been 85 for 5. His runs came at a brisk rate, too: the 203 took 207 deliveries and included 31 fours and three sixes. He had support from allrounder Doug Bracewell, who struck an unbeaten 63 and shared a 224-run partnership with Schmulian.

Schmulian's rescue act came after Northern Districts had posted 439 for 5 after being put in to bat. Each of Northern Districts' top six scored fifties, only the tenth time in the last decade that each batsman in the top six scored a half-century in a first-class innings. Bharat Popli top-scored with 84, while left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel took three of the five wickets to fall.

Patel followed his three wickets with a six-for in Northern Districts' second innings, limiting the side to 181 for 9. Only four Northern Districts batsmen scored in double-figures with captain Daniel Flynn leading the innings with 64. However, Northern Districts' first-innings lead of 126 meant that Central Districts were left with a target of 308 runs on the fourth day. They managed to get to 223 for 7.

The match was a three-day affair, after the first day was lost due to rain.