Cricket: Milne in all-round show

By Daniel Richardson

Adam Milne. Photo / Hawkes Bay Today
Adam Milne. Photo / Hawkes Bay Today

An all-round effort from Adam Milne and a maiden first-class century to Tarun Nethula has put Central Districts on top against Otago after two days of their Plunket Shield encounter in Napier.

Resuming this morning on 367-7, Milne and Nethula continued where they left off from day one and eventually put on 133 for the eighth wicket, which was a record for CD against Otago and propelled the home side to a whopping first-innings total of 476 at McLean Park.

Nethula posted 108 from 210 balls, including 13 fours, as the leg-spinner beat his previous-best knock in four-day cricket of 58, while Milne was the last man dismissed as he departed for 97 - in what would have been his maiden first-class hundred.

To ease the frustration of just missing his century, Milne then proceeded to decimate the Otago top order as he had the visitors reeling at 22-3.

The right-arm seamer later completed his first five-wicket haul in the four-day game as he knocked over Derek de Boorder and Jimmy Neesham later in the day.

Otago closed play at 232-9, with Ian Butler at the crease unbeaten on 53, while No 11 Blair Soper was yet to score.

The visitors are 244 runs behind on the first innings, and face a huge task in the next two days to avoid a substantial defeat.

Milne registered figures of 5-44 from 12 overs, while import Peter Trego picked up 3-52.

Milne's form comes at a good time, with New Zealand due to tour South Africa next month and the ageing Chris Martin appearing to fall out of favour with the national selectors. He hasn't been given a start in tests on the current trip to Sri Lanka.

At the Eden Park Outer Oval in Auckland, Colin Munro stroked his third first-class century to ensure the home team held the smallest of first-innings leads over Wellington by the close of play on day two.

Munro finished the day unbeaten on 122 - his knock included 14 fours and five sixes - as Auckland closed play on 381-5 in response to Wellington's first-up effort of 380.

Craig Cachopa was the less aggressive of the Auckland pair to finish the day; unbeaten on 74 from 145 balls at stumps.

Earlier in the day, Auckland were in a bit of strife at 174-5 as the top order all made starts but failed to kick on past 50. Tim McIntosh, Lou Vincent, Reece Young and Colin de Grandhomme all made scores between 31 and 46.

Wellington will need to take early wickets tomorrow (Wed) to avoid facing a large first-innings deficit.

- APNZ

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