In an opening round of Plunket Shield cricket where top-order centuries have been in fashion, Dean Brownlie sent a reminder to the New Zealand selectors with a ton of his own.

The Northern Districts opener struck 104 against Canterbury, combining in a 174-run partnership with fellow former international Daniel Flynn, and making a promising start to the season after an under-achieving campaign last summer.

Although Jeet Raval seems to be the next top-order cab off the rank for the Black Caps in the test arena, Brownlie, who has played 14 tests for New Zealand, can put his name back in contention with strong domestic displays.

Unfortunately for his Northern Districts side, his efforts yesterday didn't receive much support outside Flynn, with the visitors slumping from 174-0 to 242-5 - 203 runs behind Canterbury, who were led by a career-best 195 from Todd Astle.


Astle also proved productive with the ball, taking the vital wickets of Brownlie and last season's run scoring dynamo Bharat Popli.

Also still in the reckoning to push for a top-order place is Hamish Rutherford, whose 143 on the opening day gave Otago a platform to build upon as they reached a hefty 479-5 declared in their first innings against Central Districts, who are similarly well poised at 134-1 in response.

While the batsmen have largely dominated proceedings in Nelson and Christchurch, the bowlers have received more joy in the clash between Auckland and Wellington.

Resuming at 43-2 in response to Auckland's first innings of 269, Wellington reached 273, largely thanks to 109 from Stephen Murdoch. Promising paceman Lockie Ferguson took 5-44 for Auckland, but watched on as his side fell to 65-3 at the end of play.

16 Oct, 2016 2:07pm
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10 Oct, 2016 9:09am
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