Cricket: Spin bowlers shine in Plunket Shield

By Niall Anderson

Stags spinner Ajaz Patel during the Plunket Shield. Photo / Photosport
Stags spinner Ajaz Patel during the Plunket Shield. Photo / Photosport

The first round of the Plunket Shield was dominated by the batsmen, but it was the bowlers' time to shine in the second week of the domestic four-day competition.

To be specific, spin bowlers were in vogue, with Tarun Nethula and Ajaz Patel claiming 10 wickets between them in conditions favourable to turn and bounce.

Nethula led the way, with the former New Zealand one-day international claiming 6-36 as his Auckland side routed Otago for 164.

Aided by some sharp fielding - including a ripper one-handed grab at short leg by Robbie O'Donnell - Nethula cleaned up the tail as Otago slumped, losing their last five wickets for three runs.

The day's play also featured the concerning dismissal of Ryan Duffy, who was struck by a bouncer which then ricocheted onto the stumps as he lay on the ground. Fortunately, he walked off without any repercussions.


Auckland reached 52-2 at stumps in response, with the threatening Otago seam attack of Jacob Duffy and Neil Wagner claiming a wicket apiece.

In Christchurch, Patel brought up 100 first-class wickets with figures of 4-41 as his Central Districts side reduced Canterbury to 185-7.

After making a career best 195 in the opening round, Todd Astle again looms as critical to Canterbury's hopes, unbeaten on 51 at the close of play.

Rain also interrupted the third match of the round, with Wellington reducing Northern Districts to 10-2 before play was washed out after six overs.

- NZ Herald

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