Cricket: Patel haul keeps CD hoping

By Anendra Singh

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CD celebrate another wicket but today they'll need to wrap it up quickly. Photo / NZME
CD celebrate another wicket but today they'll need to wrap it up quickly. Photo / NZME

The highway project resumed at Eden Park outer oval yesterday but Central Districts Stags' elite roading engineer Ajaz Patel took it in his stride once more.

The 26-year-old spinner, who claimed 6-117 day one of the Budget Rental Plunket Shield match, yesterday took 5-148 from 36 overs, including four maidens.

However, the Devon Hotel-sponsored Stags need four more wickets quickly this morning as the Mondiale Auckland Aces resume their second dig on 425/6, having built a handsome lead of 382 runs.

The visitors, sitting on 404/6 overnight, yesterday could only eke out a dozen more runs before the Aces skittled them.

"The plan was to bat longer but unfortunately it didn't go that way," said Patel, as things didn't pan out as captain William Young had anticipated on his "moving day".

"We'll be chasing a total tomorrow so it's important the batsmen go out with good intent to provide a good platform whenever they get out there," he said, when asked if the total seemed like a bridge too far.

Patel felt the last three days had offered some hope on a benign batting strip.

"There are still some runs in the wicket so we still have a good chance of a winning."

Yesterday belonged to the Michael Bate-skippered Auckland, who got on the front foot with two century-makers - former Stag Jeet Raval and Robbie O'Donnell, scoring 139 runs and 100 respectively, before becoming Patel's victims.

Colin de Grandhomme added 69 runs on a deceptively lush wicket that turned out to be a seamers' nightmare and spinners' paradise.

Another former CD tweaker Tarun Nethula took 6-142 for the hosts.

Said Patel: "I'm pretty elated, to be honest," he said after his milestone maiden 10-wicket haul.

"It was something I intended to get a grip on at some stage so to get it now is awesome.

"I'm very, very ecstatic about it, actually. It is a milestone you want to tick off as a bowler."

However, Patel emphasised there wasn't time to celebrate his effort just yet because "at the same time we have a job to do tomorrow".

The Aces are leading the first-class race while Central Districts are in fifth place but just a point adrift of the Northern Districts Knights who are playing Wellington Firebirds.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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