A century stand between Matthew Bell, the Wellington captain, and Jesse Ryder gave way for a middle-order collapse at the hands of Central Districts on the third day at the Basin Reserve. Bell struck a patient 93 and Ryder 73 before Central Districts came to the party and left Wellington on 284 for 8, still 28 runs adrift of their first-innings 312, on day curtailed by bad light.
Bell began the day on 51 and pushed himself towards a third hundred for the season while Ryder progressed to his own fifty. What began as a positive start to the day turned to a chalky collapse as Ryder was bowled by Min Patel's slow left-arm spin with the score on 174 for 3.
Michael Mason and Lance Hamilton then struck further blows to send back Michael Parlane and Chris Nevin before Patel trapped Grant Elliot lbw. Bell and Stu Mills (24), the Wellington wicketkeeper, began to forge a useful partnership before Mason returned to dismiss Mills lbw. Mills struggled to score but spent valuable time and the crease where his middle and lower order team-mates struggled.
Mason finished with 3 for 63, Hamilton 2 for 60 and Patel 2 for 57 as CD restricted Wellington from a strong position. Dewayne Bownde (13) and Scott Rasmussen (0) were at the crease when bad light ended the third day.