Cricket: Young gun's century gives Auckland a dominant lead

By Niall Anderson

Will Young accounted for half of Central Districts' runs. Photo / Paul Taylor
Will Young accounted for half of Central Districts' runs. Photo / Paul Taylor

A maiden century to Robbie O'Donnell has moved Auckland into a dominant position after the second day of their top of the table Plunket Shield showdown with Wellington.

The 21-year old has been pegged as a special talent, and he showed that with a mammoth 167 to steer Auckland to 369-4 in their first innings - a lead of 195 runs.

A former New Zealand Under 19 captain, O'Donnell struck 18 fours in his knock, and was supported by Michael Guptill-Bunce (89) and Brad Cachopa's unbeaten 60 as Auckland set up what should be a mammoth first innings advantage.

It was a day of toil for the Wellington bowlers, with former internationals Brent Arnel and Jeetan Patel suffering the most, combining for 67 overs without a wicket.

Staying on Auckland's tail are third placed Canterbury, after manufacturing a handy lead over Central Districts at Saxton Oval in Nelson.

Canterbury looked in a precarious position after being dismissed on day one for 204, but responded by routing Central Districts for 168.

Half of CD's total was thanks to Will Young's 84, who was the last man dismissed as only three other Central batsmen made double figures.

Canterbury added to their first innings buffer with an excellent beginning to their second dig, with Leo Carter unbeaten on 76 at stumps as Canterbury moved through to 171-3, and a lead of 207.

Elsewhere, Northern Districts have a small lead over Otago thanks to a strong lower-order batting display.

After having dismissed Otago for 237, ND received several key contributions as they reached 324 in response on the University Oval wicket.

Skipper Daniel Flynn picked a good time to find some form, making his highest score since last October with a well-compiled 92, anchoring the top order as wickets fell around him.

Anton Devcich found the boundary often in making 49, but Northern still needed lower-order hitting to snare a sizeable first innings lead; hitting they received from Daryl Mitchell.

Mitchell backed up his century from last week with a composed 73, and combined with Scott Kuggeleijn (32) and Jimmy Baker (28) to give the visitors an 87 run lead.

Otago reached 32-0 at stumps to reduce the deficit, and will need their impressive top order to fire to take control of the contest.

- NZ Herald

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