Cricket: Gillespie sends selectors a message

Mark Gillespie. Photo / Dean Purcell.
Mark Gillespie. Photo / Dean Purcell.

As Wellington and Auckland fought their way to a draw at the Basin Reserve today, Black Caps coach Mike Hesson may have been interested to read Mark Gillespie's bowling figures.

The 33-year-old seamer, who is regularly worried by injuries, claimed career-best match figures of 11-149 as the Plunket Shield encounter between the Aucklanders and Wellington fizzled out on the final day.

Hesson and the New Zealand selectors haven't named their test squad to meet England in the upcoming three-match series but they could do a lot worse than throw the new ball to a fired-up Gillespie who bowled with plenty of vigour last summer against South Africa.

Gillespie has been dogged by niggles on and off since then but appears to fit at the moment and when he is on song he is a genuine wicket-taker.

Auckland began day four this morning on 233-5 and were eventually dismissed for 345 as Gillespie took 6-83 to go with his 5-66 from the first innings.

Gareth Hopkins made his 16th first-class century on his way to a team-high 121.

Wellington were then left needing 266 for victory, while Auckland were in search of 10 wickets to pick up an outright victory.

The home side lost Michael Papps and Stephen Murdoch early only for ducks, but Josh Brodie (86) gave the home side some direction, while another Black Caps hopeful, Luke Ronchi, made a breezy 36 before he became one of Bruce Martin's three victims.

The veteran left-arm spinner eventually finished with 3-81 as Harry Boam and tail-ender Ili Tugaga batted out the final few overs to ensure Wellington held on for a draw as they closed play on 199-8.

- APNZ

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