Cricket: Wickets tumble in Christchurch

Veteran opener Peter Fulton was a lone figure as he battled his way to 52. File photo / Getty Images
Veteran opener Peter Fulton was a lone figure as he battled his way to 52. File photo / Getty Images

There's more than a good chance there will be an outright result from the Plunket Shield match between Canterbury and Northern Districts after 20 wickets fell on day one at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch today.

Canterbury won the toss and decided to bat on their home strip but fell in to trouble early as Northern Districts seamer Brent Arnel dismissed George Worker and Shanan Stewart with both batsmen only making one run each.

Veteran opener Peter Fulton was a lone figure as he battled his way to 52 and grafted away for more than an hour and a half at the crease, while No 11 Matt McEwan was the second top-scorer with an unbeaten 27.

Dean Brownlie (24) and Toss Astle (21) both got starts but were unable to set up camp at the crease as Arnel finished with 5-55 from 18 overs, while Graeme Aldridge claimed 3-53 in his 100th game for ND.

Northern Districts then had their turn to try and tame the Hagley Oval wicket but only James Marshall (36), BJ Watling (25) and Daryl Mitchell (11 not out) even managed double figures as the visitors were shot out for 108 giving Canterbury a 64-run lead on the first innings.

Canterbury seamer McEwan took career-best figures of 5-20, while part-time bowler Stewart snagged 3-17 from 10 overs as Northern capitulated.

Northern will have to hope they can bowl Canterbury out cheaply tomorrow (Fri) as they search for victory, while the Cantabrians will look to dig in and set ND a big target to win.

At the Basin Reserve, Auckland built a steady platform after they lost the toss and were invited to bat by Wellington on day one of their encounter.

Auckland No 3 Anaru Kitchen made 95 as he laid the groundwork for a big total for the visitors, while Colin de Grandhomme carried on the momentum late in the day with an entertaining knock as Auckland closed play on 319-5.

The former Zimbabwe under-19 player and part-time New Zealand international finished the day unbeaten on 81 but managed to blast a cover drive straight in to an unsuspecting bird, while one of his sixes also broke a window in the Long Room of the RA Vance Stand.

The 26-year-old will resume the hostilities tomorrow with Dusan Hakaraia at the other end, who finished with eight next to his name this evening.

Seamer Mark Gillespie was the pick of Wellington's bowlers as he grabbed 2-48 from 19 overs, while three other Firebirds took one scalp each.

- APNZ

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