Auckland have an important day ahead as they seek to stay on top of the Plunket Shield competition.

After several weeks' break for one-day competitions, the first-class title chase resumed today with seven rounds to complete the domestic season.

Having won the T20 crown, Auckland have their sights on making it two out of three this season.

Auckland led Wellington by one point, Canterbury by two, and today dismissed Canterbury at Hagley Oval shortly before stumps for 294, having sent the hosts in.


Test opener Tom Latham warmed up for the Australian series with 65 in 101 balls, while spinner Tim Johnson hit a quick 76 off 64 balls late on, sharing a useful 76-run seventh wicket stand with Logan van Beek.

Medium pacers Colin de Grandhomme and Donovan Grobbelaar took three wickets each while Balmain grade cricketer Nathan McAndrew, drafted in due to injuries to seamers Matt Quinn and Lachie Ferguson, took two for 55.

Auckland lost Jeet Raval just before stumps, caught behind off left armer Ed Nuttall for four and will start today on 10 for one.

Test bowler Tim Southee had little to do on the opening day of Northern Districts' match against Central Districts in Napier, as ND were dismissed for 268 right on stumps.

Having been named in the first test squad to face Australia, Southee will tomorrow seek to prove his readiness when CD start their first innings.

Tim Seiffert hit his maiden first-class century, 106 in 264 minutes, while there were a brace of forties from Bharat Popli and Scott Kuggeleijn.

Bevan Small and Seth Rance took three wickets each.

Former England player Scott Borthwick hit his 11th first-class hundred as Wellington reached 280 for seven against Otago at Queenstown. Legspinner Borthwick, from Sunderland, played his only test against Australia at Sydney in 2014.

Borthwick starts tomorrow on 102. The other notable contribution today came from Michael Papps with 85.

Test left armer Neil Wagner took two wickets in one over late on, as Wellington lost three for one shortly before stumps, to finish with four for 69.