Central Districts reach 159 for 2, chasing 467-run target against Auckland: Plunket Shield
Central Districts require another 309 runs for victory against Auckland in their Plunket Shield match at Nelson Park in Napier. However, the hosts have eight wickets in hand, after they lost two batsmen before the close of play on day-three (Wednesday).
Earlier, Auckland declared their innings at 471 for the loss of four wickets. Centuries from top order batsmen Jeet Raval and Andrew de Boorder helped the visitors reach a massive total.
Raval got out after scoring exactly 100 runs with the help of 14 fours. He batted sensibly and was involved in two century partnerships with opening partner Tim McIntosh and first-drop de Boorder.
However, the Auckland first-drop didn’t lose focus at all and was not-out on 150 before his captain Gareth Hopkins, who also scored an unbeaten 64, declared the innings.
There wasn’t much support in the pitch for the home team bowlers and only Doug Bracewell was able to trouble the batsmen. He took two wickets in the Auckland innings. Michael Mason and Tarun Nethula were the other wicket-takers, who took one apiece.
Most of the second day’s play was washed away due to rain and this cost a lot of time to the teams in the four-day match. However, both captains decided to make the situation interesting by skipping one innings each.
Central Districts were five for one, when their captain Jamie How declared the innings. Opener Peter Ingram was the player to be dismissed without scoring. He was cleaned up by veteran bowler Daryl Tuffey, who was the lone wicket-taker in the six-over innings
of the hosts.
After that, Auckland captain Gareth Hopkins forfeited his team's second innings, setting the visitors a 467-run target. This move was made only to make a result possible out of the dead rubber.
Central Districts reached 159 for the loss of two wickets at the end of the third day’s play. The start to their innings was a good one, as openers Peter Ingram and Jamie How put together a 78-run partnership for the first wicket.
However, Ingram got out after scoring 51 runs off 88 balls, stroking nine fours in his innings. He would have liked to make a big one for his team, but failed to do so. Just 20 runs later, the captain of the visiting team had to take the long walk back to
the pavilion. He managed 33 runs off 99 balls. The seasoned campaigner would have been disappointed with his performance, as he failed to make the most of the good start he got to his innings.
First-drop George Worker and Test player Mathew Sinclair batted sensibly, guiding their team’s total above 150. They were batting on 26 and 38 respectively, before the umpires called the day off.
Chris and Bruce Martin took one wicket each for their team and will be looking forward to getting some support from the other bowlers on the final day of play.