Cyclone Oma might have something to do with it but domestic cricket fans could be forgiven for thinking the teams in Rangiora, near Christchurch, were in a hell of a rush to get off Mainpower Oval today.
With the Central Districts Stags' innings dusted on day one of the round five four-day Plunket Shield match yesterday the Canterbury Kings were over their dig today after resuming on an overnight total of 82-2 to be all out for 280 runs in 90.4 overs.
The 19-run lead, after the visitors' 261 all out, was neither here nor there but then the Greg Hay-captained side soldiered on to post 106-3 at stumps after 33 overs in their second innings.
Opener George Worker will resume tomorrow morning unbeaten on a patient 50 from 101 balls, including five boundaries, and wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver is 33 not out from 73 deliveries, including four fours, to add to an 87-run buffer.
CD coach Heinrich Malan said the weather was not something they could control but the Super Smash champions were aware they had shifted from the T20 mode to first-class cricket and partnerships were imperative tomorrow.
However, it was the potent CD bowling attack who did the damage in the morning although they would have grimaced at the thought of letting the hosts eclipse their total.
"Yes, it's pretty much a game of getting them out, isn't it?" said Malan, stressing it was down to what CD could conjure up tomorrow to put the Kings under pressure on Sunday in their second dig.
Kings wicketkeeper Cole McConchie fell just four balls after play resumed this morning for 32 runs and Leo Carter followed 14 deliveries later for two runs after a pearler from Black Caps seamer Ben Wheeler to uproot his off stump for his 100th scalp, almost in the same fashion the left-arm opening seamer had dismantled opener Jack Boyle for seven runs on day one.
"It was good for Benjamin to cross that line today," said Malan. "He's obviously been hindered by injuries in the last couple of years so he's a quality bowler and it's great to see him [excel]."
But Bracewell, who also should be in the Bangladesh test squad, wasn't done as he cramped up batsmen with a claustrophobic line and length on the off stump. He got the prized scalp of veteran Stephen Murdoch, at first drop, for 56 runs after he brought up his 28th half ton with three more runs from overnight to add to his dozen first-class centuries.
That stymied a promising partnership although Cam Fletcher and Astle were mounting another stand after the three wickets in the space of 30 balls.
However, it seems Astle didn't make a mental note of how Black Caps swing merchant Seth Rance had sent the other opening batsman, Chad Bowes, back to the changing shed for a duck yesterday.
Damningly the spinner lifted his bat to let Rance's delivery float into the gloves of CD wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver but the wicked in swinger knocked over his off stump for 16 runs.
It was left to Henry Shipley to patiently rotate the strike with Fletcher who top scored with a dogged 60 runs to frustrate and the former matched Murdoch's 56 at No 8.
Rance took 4-67, while Bracewell (2-55), Wheeler (2-53) and Ryan McCone (2-55) also created mental dents.
If anything, the Stags are quite adept, as defending champions and 2018-19 leaders, to make the 100th first-class encounter between the two sides at Mainpower Oval a memorable one.
They have not lost 21 clashes on the trot while the Kings have yet to conceded a shield match at the venue since December 2015.
Malan, who appears to be a shoo-in as Black Caps batting coach after the ICC World Cup in England in July, said CD had a quality bowling attack with myriad options in swing, seam and bounce deliveries.
"Jazzy compliments that from a spin point of view but we just have to make sure we recognise that blueprint of red-ball cricket," he said of a wicketless but frugal Ajaz Patel who is playing his 50th shield match and who Black Caps selectors considered "unlucky" to not make the test squad against Bangladesh.
Malan said while white-ball cricket demanded the attributes of going for the jugular the red-ball format was a game of patience.
With rain forecast this weekend, it is imperative for CD to glean as many points on offer as possible after Canterbury claimed four bowling ones on day one and CD managed to pick up two for batting.
Today it was the other way round in sharing points.
"If you play some decent cricket in your first innings then the points stuff will take care of themselves," Malan said, adding the players had spoken about that enough and knew what their portfolios were.