A maiden first-class century for opener Michael Guptill-Bunce helped put leaders Auckland into a solid position after the opening day of their match against Central Districts at Eden Park today.

The 26-year-old, a cousin of international opener Martin Guptill, didn't mess about either, reaching 112 off just 103 balls to push Auckland, who had been sent in, to 373. At stumps in the seventh round Plunket Shield clash, CD were 54 for one.

Guptill-Bunce, hit 19 fours and two sixes, sharing useful stands of 64 and 69 with Robbie O'Donnell and Shawn Hicks for the second and third wickets.

''That's the way he plays," coach Mark O'Donnell said of Guptill-Bunce's positive approach.


''They gave him a few opportunities and he took them."

There were further substance put into the innings by allrounders Colin de Grandhomme (55 off only 40 balls) and Donovan Grobbelaar (63).

CD had one standout performer with the ball, spinner Ajaz Patel, who finished with a fine six for 117 off 30 overs.

Players stood for a minute's silence before play yesterday, and wore black armbands, as they did in the other two games, as a tribute to Martin Crowe.

Second-placed Canterbury also opted to field against Otago at Invercargill's Queens Park and things didn't go as well as they'd hoped.

A 17th first-class century by Neil Broom got Otago over a sticky start, at 19 for two.

Broom's second ton of the campaign, 117 not out, pushed bottom-placed Otago out to 264 for four. The key partnership was of 145 for the fourth wicket with Jimmy Neesham, who made 75.

In the capital, on a rain and light-affected day, Northern Districts, also sent in by Wellington, were 133 for two off just 37 overs, with openers Dean Brownlie (57) and Daniel Flynn (43) putting on 92.