Cricket: Central extend lead in Plunket Shield

  photo / Duncan Brown
photo / Duncan Brown

Central Districts made short work of Otago on day four of their Plunket Shield match in Napier today, winning by 10 wickets.

Starting the day at 237 for eight, Otago added only two runs to their total as they were bowled out inside two overs this morning. Mark Craig didn't add to his overnight total of 20 before being caught by Jeet Raval off Andrew Mathieson, and No 11 Blair Soper was caught by Jamie How also off Mathieson's bowling for no score.

Mathieson finished with career-best figures of five for 39 as he ripped through Otago's lineup.

Central rattled off the 21 runs needed in 4.5 overs with Raval (14 not out) and How (five not out) steering Central to a comfortable 10-wicket victory. The win was set up in the first couple of days when Central amassed 476 in their first innings and then skittled Otago for 257, forcing them to follow on.

It means Central (63 points) have established a handy lead over Otago (33) on the Plunket Shield points table with three outright wins in their four games.

Auckland are third with 30 points but their chances of an outright win over Wellington were thwarted today by light rain in Auckland. With no play possible on Eden Park's outer oval, it was a disappointing end to what had been an entertaining match.

Wellington (145-2) needed another 133 runs to make Auckland bat again, with the home side seeking eight wickets for victory.

- APNZ

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