Auckland pile on the pressure

A round-up of the State Championship matches that took place on March 20

Cricinfo staff

Auckland's Richard Jones smashes a six en route to his 92 at Eden Park © Getty Images
Auckland took firm control on the second day of their State Championship match against Wellington at Eden Park with a splendid allround performance. First, their bowlers bundled out the opposition for 157 and their batsmen rubbed it in by finishing on 215 for 1 at stumps in their second innings, with an imposing overall lead of 281. Tama Canning (4 for 48), Lance Shaw (3 for 10) and Andre Adams (3 for 43), the Auckland seamers, combined to earn a first-innings lead of 66. Then, Richard Jones and Martin Guptill, Auckland's openers, piled on the pressure with an opening stand of 148. Jones fell eight short of his ton, bowled by Mark Gillespie. His innings included 16 fours and a six while Guptill remained unbeaten on 71, with Lou Vincent.
A sporting declaration by Craig Cumming, the Otago captain, after gaining a valuable first-innings lead of 58, laid the foundation for an interesting final day's play, in their State Championship match against Northern Districts at Dunedin. Stubborn batting by the Otago lower order helped extend the lead, giving good support to Neil Broom, who top-scored with 78. Bruce Martin was the most effective bowler for Northerns, taking 5 for 73. In their reply, Northerns lost Grant Robinson early but ended the day at 117 for 3, with Alum Evans remaining unbeaten on 59.
Canterbury strengthened their position on day three of their State Championship match against Central Districts at Christchurch after their bowlers triggered a collapse which saw them bag a first-innings lead of 107. Centrals lost their last five wickets for 29 runs, dismissed for 299 in response to Canterbury's 406. Chris Harris had a good outing with the ball as well, with three scalps, including that of Ross Taylor for 53. Canterbury lost Gary Stead early, but Michael Papps (55*) and Shanan Stewart (52) added 132 for the second wicket. The hosts ended the day at 153 for three.