Day 2, Plunket Shield
McLean Park, Napier
AT STUMPS it was blatantly obvious dumped New Zealand captain Ross Taylor was done with keeping the comfy chair under the pavilion warm.
The Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags batsman will return to the crease this morning unbeaten on 22 runs from 28 balls, including two boundaries, after making fours runs from 26 deliveries in the first innings on Thursday.
The hosts were 77-2 in 17 overs last night at McLean Park, Napier, with No 3 Carl Cachopa at the other end on 33 from 45 balls against the Canterbury Wizards on the second day of the four-day Plunket Shield match.
Effectively the teams were pretty even after the Stags skittled the Gary Stead-coached Wizards for 292 in 82.4 overs with No 4 batsman Dean Brownlie scoring a sedate 88 runs from 169 balls and No 7 Andrew Ellis providing a quick-fire 87 from 98 balls as the other major contributor to the visitors' first innings.
But a group of blokes shining the new ball also provided the platform for what appears to be heading for a nail-biting finish in the first-class match following a par first-innings declaration of 303-8 on Thursday from CD skipper Kieran Noema-Barnett.
Zimbabwe international Kyle Jarvis spearheaded CD's seam attack yesterday to finish with 4-40 from 16 overs, including three maidens.
His fellow opening seamer, Andrew Mathieson, also claimed four wickets although he bled 79 runs from 13.4 overs, including two maidens.
First-change bowlers Noema-Barnett was wicket-less but frugal from 12 overs, including five maidens, for 21 runs.
Allrounder Cachopa took 1-36 from nine overs, including a maiden.
Legspinner Tarun Nethula took 1-61 from 20 overs, including four maidens, while left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel was wicket-less for 42 runs from 11 overs, including a maiden.
"When the ball was new it was doing a bit for us but when the ball got older it got quite hard for us but we're pretty happy with where we're at," Jarvis said.
Preparing for Zimbabwe's tour of West Indies in three weeks, the 23-year-old said he was happy with his effort and would have another dig against the Auckland Aces in the next round before embarking on international duties.
He wasn't very happy with his debut in the HRV Cup stint after two domestic games at home but hopes to return next summer if CD want him back to make amends.
"It was a great competition but I wasn't as great as I would have like to have been," he said, delighted to be here with rain robbing Zimbabwe teammates of game time.
Assistant bowling coach Lance Hamilton said the first hour today would be crucial with the new ball in the hands' of the Tom Latham-captained Canterbury.
"We'll need to vent the attack and then progress on some good patience," Hamilton said.
He said Taylor looked good after spending some time out there.
"If he's there with Chops [Cachopa] then runs will come at a good rate, too, with Skippy [Mathew Sinclair], Barney [Noema-Barnett] and Krugs [Kruger van Wyk] still to come so we have batting depth."
A 350-plus total, he felt, was a good target to set Canterbury.