Auckland's opponents in the Plunket Shield are probably starting to wish Colin Munro had earned elevation to the test team.

The batsman today continued his incandescent form in the red-ball format, smashing another quickfire century to help Auckland seize ascendancy at the halfway point of their clash with Otago.

Munro's sheer weight of runs has become impossible to ignore - except to the national selectors, that is - and he once more blasted his way into the headlines at University Oval.

After Lockie Ferguson (5-53) wrapped up the Otago tail, Munro came to the crease with Auckland in trouble on 43-3. The one-test Black Cap then proceeded to smear the hosts all around the ground, carving nine fours and six sixes before being dismissed for 102 off 85 balls.


The ton was Munro's fourth in seven Plunket Shield innings and left him averaging 96.2 this season, lifting his career first-class average to 52.6 from 45 matches.

It also saw Auckland compile 304 to take a first-innings lead of 22 runs, bolstering their position when Ferguson struck to reduce Otago to 6-1 at stumps. But despite the best efforts of Munro and Ferguson, the Plunket Shield still looks like Canterbury's to lose.

Having entered to penultimate round with a 19-point advantage, Canterbury put themselves in a strong position on the second day of their encounter with Central Districts. They first advanced their total to 388 then reduced CD to 247-6, with Will Young (102no) contributing the majority of the runs.

In Mt Maunganui, Northern Districts reached 252-8 by stumps, holding a 101-run lead over Wellington.