Cricket: Auckland and Otago set for thrilling finish

By David Leggat

Auckland batsman Jeet Raval. Photo / Getty
Auckland batsman Jeet Raval. Photo / Getty

You can't call Auckland's Plunket Shield match against Otago in Dunedin dull.

Having lost the first day to rain, the teams have conspired to produce 657 runs and 34 wickets over the last two days and going into the final day tomorrow both sides could still snare the win.

Auckland were rolled for 139 in their second innings today, losing the last nine wickets in just 25 overs. Take out a pair of forties by Jeet Raval and Robbie O'Donnell and no one else passed 15.

Otago, requiring 218, were 86 for four at stumps, Ryan Duffy and Jimmy Neesham edging balls onto their stumps, Michael Bracewell caught behind off another inside edge.

Victory will keep Auckland on top of the first-class competition with two rounds to play.

Northern Districts are within sight of a crushing win over Central Districts in Hamilton going into the final day.

Having taken a 165-run lead on the first innings, ND rattled up 332 for seven declared, scoring at five and a half runs an over yesterday. Daryl Mitchell's 72 came off only 49 balls, while Bharat Popli (66) and Dean Brownlie (65) made solid contributions. Popli needs another 58 runs in two matches to reach 1000 runs in the competition.

CD, left chasing an improbable 498 to win, were limping at 64 for three at stumps.

In Christchurch, the ball is in Wellington's court after Canterbury declared 47 behind in their first innings of a game trimmed by rain to three days.

Wellington's English import Scott Borthwick completed a century, finishing 110 not out, in their first innings 206. On the way, Borthwick rescued Wellington from an ignominious 78 for eight, with a 125-run stand for the ninth wicket with Iain McPeake, who made 25. It broke a 92-year-old record for that wicket against Canterbury.

Canterbury declared at 159 for two. At stumps Wellington were 39 without loss, leading overall by 86.

- NZ Herald

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