On a day when 10 New Zealand test or 'A' representatives were expected to shine, rookie Ben Lister was the star for Auckland against Northern Districts in their round four Plunket Shield match at Hamilton.

The 21-year-old took five wickets for 29 runs from 15 overs in a display of controlled left-arm pace bowling which belied the fact he was playing his second first-class match.

What's more, Lister's wickets comprised five of ND's top seven batsmen, including New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. The hosts were dismissed for 148. Auckland was 121 for three at stumps.

Lister began by getting a ball to nip back and bowl left-hander Daniel Flynn for a duck to end the first over. He soon had BJ Watling flashing at a wider ball which rifled to wicketkeeper Ben Horne, who finished with four catches for the innings.

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Williamson and Mitchell Santner put on 65 for the third wicket. The partnership boded well ahead of the West Indies' arrival for tests next month, but Lister kept asking questions.

For instance: how do you dismiss a man who has New Zealand's highest test average among those to play more than 10 tests?

Simple really. Get close to the stumps, pitch short-of-a-length on middle-and-leg, angle the ball across the right-hander and ask the wicket for assistance. Williamson was forced to play, and Horne gloved the reward.

That wicket alone justified Auckland's decision to field. Williamson, in his first Plunket Shield match since October 2015, made 45 off 82 balls. Runs have been relatively scarce for him of late, with one half-century in nine innings since the start of the Indian limited overs tour.

Lister continued his assault by forcing Tim Seifert to play a similar line to Williamson.

Colin de Grandhomme took the catch in the cordon. Lister showed the full extent of his repertoire by getting a ball to move back and skittle the right-handed Scott Kuggeleijn. That clinched his maiden first-class five-wicket bag.

There were still promising signs among the incumbent Black Caps.

Santner played an innings of grit getting to 55 from 138 balls. He came to the wicket at 15 for two in the seventh over with the ball moving on and off the pitch. His patience was key amid nine boundaries.

As a player who averages 26 from 15 tests and 29.44 in his 39th first-class match, his ninth half-century should instill him with more confidence in pursuit of the test all-rounder tag.

Watling decided not to keep as he recovers from a hip injury. His appearance at first slip was worth a second glance with the visibility of just five digits across two hands. The other half were bandaged. Seifert was tidy in his absence.

From a Black Caps perspective, the match's second innings of the match provided an upside and a downside.

The downside was that strike bowlers Tim Southee and Tim Boult could not coax any Auckland wickets in the first 20 overs. However, the pair got a couple of decent spells into their legs and Southee dismissed Martin Guptill later for eight.

The upside was opener Jeet Raval anchoring the Auckland innings during the new ball period, eventually eking out 37 from 78 balls in a 70-run opening stand with Michael Guptill-Bunce who is 53 not out. Raval was bowled by a Scott Kuggeleijn delivery which beat him between bat and pad as he shaped to drive.

After taking 12 wickets for 78 against Otago, Auckland's Lockie Ferguson was rested as he prepares to join Kuggeleijn and Adam Milne in the New Zealand A pace attack to play the West Indies at Lincoln from November 25-27.