The Central Districts Stags shifted gears to pick up where they left off after piling on the runs against the Auckland Aces yesterday.

CD captain William Young led by example on day one of the round seven Plunket Shield match to remain unbeaten on 141 runs when the umpires lifted the bails at Eden Park outer oval.

But, again, the platform came from in-form opening batsman Greg Hay with a patient 101 runs from 208 balls, including a dozen boundaries, in 298 minutes.

The Heinrich Malan-coached visitors will resume at 379-4 this morning after 96 overs of play yesterday.


Young scored at a brisk rate of a run a ball (145 balls), including 23 boundaries and a six.

"When we had a look at the wicket in the morning, it looked pretty flat, so we chose to have a bat and it couldn't have gone any better from a batting perspective," said Hay, after he carried his bat in the second innings to spearhead CD to a six-wicket victory over the Otago Volts at McLean Park, Napier, last Sunday.

The 33-year-old right hander from Nelson, who chalked up his 13th first-class century, said Young, at No 4, was a sight to behold in his 217-minute occupation of the crease.

"Will's been in good rhythm from ball one and he looked a million dollars in his innings of a run a ball and he's not done, that's for sure, because there's plenty of runs to make yet."

He disclosed Young, of Taranaki but living in Napier, had won about 80 per cent of his tosses this summer.

The 25-year-old right hander's fifth first-class ton was also his career-high score, eclipsing his previous best of 132 runs carved up against the Northern Districts Knights in Whangarei in the summer of 2014-15.

"Will made it look far easier than when I was out there batting with him, so it was one of those days for him," he said. "He was hitting and everything was coming off the middle of the bat for him, so if he can continue that [today], there's no reason why he can't go on to get a double hundred."

Stags opener Greg Hay opener Greg Hay scored his third first-class ton of the season yesterday and his 13th career one. Photo/Photosport
Stags opener Greg Hay opener Greg Hay scored his third first-class ton of the season yesterday and his 13th career one. Photo/Photosport

The impact of the Stags' do is reflected on the Aucklanders' frantic attempt to employ seven bowlers, including Black Caps test opener Jeet Raval to roll his arm for one over.


Returning to the fray after the white-ball campaign, Black Caps opening batsman George Worker laboriously carved up 47 runs from 116 deliveries to take the shine off the red ball.

Ben Smith's woes continued as he came and went for seven runs at first drop, falling prey to a Jamie Brown delivery that unsettled his furniture.

While Malan hadn't discussed the prospect of a declaration after the end of the day's play, Hay said there was no talk of taking the foot off the hosts' throat.

"I suggest that we'll be looking to bat on for at least the start of the day. We've done the hard work out there so now we can cash in and grind them into the deck to get a really good first-innings total," he said of the hosts, who beat CD in the grand final of the one-day Ford Trophy competition last month.

While he had carved up his third century in the red-ball format this summer, Hay was reluctant to entertain any thoughts of turning it into "the form of my life".

"I just stayed out there to bat for as long as possible, so it's a funny game, cricket - sometimes it happens for you, and at other times, it doesn't.

"It's a nice one at the moment but it's going to be peaks and troughs in this game."

Hay agreed they had taken some momentum from the second half of the game in Napier, after a mediocre knock in the first dig, to turn the game around.

The wicket didn't pack that much pace at the outer oval so Hay felt eking out a result after three more days would be a test.

"To win this, we have to bowl them out twice," he said.

CD wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver didn't pass the fitness test after picking up a back injury in the Ford Trophy final.

Black Caps seamer Seth Rance isn't playing because he has been bracketed for the three-day New Zealand XI v England match at Seddon Park, Hamilton, from Wednesday next week.