Cricket: Auckland beat the rain and ND for first Shield win

Auckland's Dean Bartlett celebrates the wicket of James Marshall. ND were torn apart twice by the Aces' bowlers. Photo / Photosport
Auckland's Dean Bartlett celebrates the wicket of James Marshall. ND were torn apart twice by the Aces' bowlers. Photo / Photosport

Auckland have rocketed up the Plunket Shield standings after another dominant day with the ball secured a 10-wicket win against Northern Districts yesterday.

Rain seemed set to save the defending champions from a defeat at Eden Park Outer Oval but, once the skies briefly cleared this evening, Auckland managed to quickly wrap up the match.

The Knights were nine down when the heavens opened yesterday, trailing Auckland's first innings total by eight runs and avoiding an innings defeat seemingly the only remaining incentive.

They returned to achieve that target and take a 12-run lead but, in the day's remaining three overs, Auckland openers Lou Vincent and Tim McIntosh completed the small chase.

With the comprehensive win, Auckland took 19 points from the match - 12 for the victory and seven bonus points - which propelled them from the bottom of the standings into third after two matches.

The Aces have their bowlers largely to thank for the promotion up the table after they ran through the ND batting order today for the second time in the match.

After Auckland No 8 Bruce Martin finally fell this morning for 114 - beating his highest first class score by one run - his side were eventually dismissed for 392, enough for a first innings lead of 184 runs.

Martin and his team-mates then made that advantage look like it would be enough to triumph with another suffocating performance.

The Knights, like they did in the first innings, put on 50 for the first wicket before, much like the first innings, they proceeded to collapse. After making a century on the opening day opener Joseph Yovich again top-scored with 42, while no other ND batsman made it past 20.

Spinner Martin continued his excellent match against his former side, picking up three wickets to add to the four he took in the first innings and lead his side to their first win of the season.

In the day's other match, Canterbury captain Peter Fulton's 10th first class century was not enough to prevent his side from tallying a disappointing total of 254 after first day against Otago in Dunedin.

- APNZ

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