Cricket: Pair put Wellington into strong position

Michael Pollard. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Pollard. Photo / Getty Images

Auckland are in a tight contest with fellow battlers Wellington halfway through their fourth-round Plunket Shield clash at the Basin Reserve.

Wellington were in a spot of bother at 127 for four in reply to Auckland's first innings of 330, but Michael Pollard and Stewart Rhodes consolidated with an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand of 86 as Wellington went to stumps in a strong position at 213 for four.

Pollard has hit 11 fours and a six in his 78 not out while Rhodes is unbeaten on 33.

Left armer Michael Bates has been the best of the Auckland bowlers with two for 32 from 16 testing overs.

Auckland had resumed yesterday at 301 for eight and added another 29 runs for their final two wickets.

Wellington's opening bowlers, former internationals Andy McKay and Mark Gillespie, each claimed another scalp to end the innings with four for 86 and three for 88, respectively.

Runaway leaders Central Districts moved into a strong position against Northern Districts at Whangarei's Cobham Oval. A 14th first-class hundred from hard-hitting opener Peter Ingram, who scored 105 and in the process became his major association's second highest runscorer behind Mathew Sinclair, provided the backbone yesterday as CD reached 230 for four in reply to Northern Districts' first innings tally of 342.

Ingram hit 13 fours in his 175-ball knock, which saw him edge past Mike Shrimpton into second spot on CD's runscoring list.

He put on 164 runs for the first wicket with George Worker, who made 52, and although the visitors, who have three outright wins from three matches, lost four wickets for 66 in the final session, they still hold the advantage heading into the third day.

At Queenstown, Canterbury pushed on to post an imposing first innings total of 496 but Otago are making a reasonable fist of the chase for first innings points.

By stumps, Otago had reached 171 for three at the Queenstown Events Centre.

Veteran skipper Craig Cumming was leading from the front, unbeaten on 83.

He shared in a 118-run opening stand with fellow former international Aaron Redmond, who made 57, and will resume today with Darren Broom, who is yet to score.

Canterbury started the day on 344 for six and pushed on until soon after lunch, allrounder Andrew Ellis becoming the second centurymaker of the innings after Reece Young by posting 118, his maiden first-class 100 bettering his previous highest score of 78.

He shared in a 112-run partnership from 131 balls with opening bowler Ryan McCone, a ninth-wicket record partnership for Canterbury against Otago.

No 10 McCone ended the innings unbeaten on 65.

Otago left arm quick Neil Wagner continued his outstanding season with five for 130.

He has 29 wickets at 15.97 midway through the fourth of 10 rounds.

- NZPA

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