Cricket: Massive partnerships in Plunket Shield

By Niall Anderson

George Worker and Dane Cleaver. Photo / Paul Taylor
George Worker and Dane Cleaver. Photo / Paul Taylor

Two massive partnerships have highlighted a day dominated by batsmen in the Plunket Shield.

Central Districts and Canterbury have benefited from crunching combinations, as both sides saw a short-form international join forces with an up-and-coming talent to post punishing partnerships.

Canterbury hold the biggest edge after the weekend's play, with Andrew Ellis and Ken McClure adding 235 for the fifth wicket to overcome a shaky first session and pummel the Northern Districts bowling attack.

Canterbury lost four wickets for 21 runs early in the day, but McClure and Ellis spent 210 minutes at the crease in a classy partnership.

Ellis blasted 13 fours and eight sixes in a blistering 143, dispatching several deliveries out of the ground in a devastating display.

McClure fell four runs short of a debut century as Canterbury finished the day at 409-7 - a lead of 152.

Northern Districts' highlight came via a bizarre dismissal, with Canterbury all-rounder Chad Bowes crushing a full-blooded hook shot into the body of short leg fieldsman Joe Carter.

The ball ballooned in the air to be caught at mid-wicket, and gave sheepish bowler Ish Sodhi a unique dismissal.

In Napier, Central Districts have taken control of their clash with Wellington, thanks to a superb stand between George Worker and Dane Cleaver.

The pair resumed overnight nearing in on centuries, and both delivered in style, with Worker making 123 and Cleaver shattering his career high with a marvellous unbeaten 151.

230 was added for the sixth wicket as CD eventually declared at 424-6. In response, Wellington lost opener Michael Papps for a golden duck, but Luke Woodcock (70) and Stephen Murdoch (89) resurrected proceedings as Wellington battled through to 231-5 at stumps.

Elsewhere, competition leaders Auckland can claim a slight advantage over Otago in a match which is intriguingly poised.

After dismissing Auckland for 277, Otago looked set for a big first-innings lead at 86-0, but lost steady wickets to be bowled out for 265.

Auckland battled through to 104-2 at stumps, with Jeet Raval reversing a horrid form slump to be unbeaten on 49, with Auckland holding a 116 run advantage.

- NZ Herald

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