A century from wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk helped Central Districts avoid embarrassment against Canterbury and instead post a competitive total in day one Plunket Shield action today.
Canterbury captain Peter Fulton sent in the visitors in Rangiora, and it looked to be the right choice when Andrew Ellis triggered a collapse in the Stags' top order which saw them fall from 48-0 to a 63-4. But the South African-born van Wyk came to the crease and enjoyed handy partnerships with No 7 Carl Cachopa (56) and No 9 Tarun Nethula (36) to see Central through to 307.
Van Wyk compiled 131, his fifth first class century, before becoming the penultimate Stags' wicket to fall, while Ellis was the pick of the bowlers for the Wizards, finishing with figures of 4-81.
In reply, Canterbury had to face to tricky 12 overs before stumps. It proved to be too much for teenage opener Tom Latham, who was dismissed for a three-ball duck by debutant Roald Badenhorst, but George Worker (11*) and Peter Fulton (14*) avoided further mishap, seeing the home side through to 27-1 at the close of play.
In Lincoln, Auckland's match with Wellington was evenly poised after day one, after the Aces experienced a solid but unspectacular day's batting against bottom placed Wellington, reaching 284-7 at stumps.
After being sent into bat by Wellington skipper Grant Elliott, former Black Caps opener Tim McIntosh notched his 17th first class ton for Auckland before being trapped in front by Jeetan Patel for 104.
Colin de Grandhomme was the next best for the Aces, finishing the day on 43*, and Auckland's slow progress was typified by veteran Neil Parlane, who required 60 balls to make his seven before being dismissed by Luke Woodcock.
Wellington's spin attack did the majority of the damage for the Firebirds, with Woodcock, Patel and Scott Kuggeleijn taking five wickets between them.
The other match scheduled to commence today, Otago hosting Northern Districts in Dunedin, was rained out without a ball being bowled.