Central held to a draw

Auckland and Central Districts have played out an exciting draw to secure one point each from their two day match at the Under-18 match in Lincoln.

Chasing 369 for first innings points Auckland came close to winning and within a whisker of losing as they finished the match at 331 for nine.

After Central’s impressive batting display yesterday Auckland knew they had a wicket which would help their batsmen.
131 from Byrnn Cleaver, 79 from James McDougall and 55 from Angus Schaw yesterday had put them in what looked to be the unbeatable position of 368 for eight.

While they walked away unscathed, they underestimated Auckland’s batting line-up.

In fact Auckland got off to a better start than Central did and were 77 without loss until Captain Ben Horne was dismissed for 40. Sachin Variath and Marc Chapman carried on his good work though and both brought up their half centuries.

The Auckland top order continued to show their class as Robert O'Donnell replaced Variath (61) and went on to make his 50, which put Auckland in a strong position.

The middle order however weren’t up to the task and had a mini collapse of three wickets for eight runs.  It looked like Central was going to pick up crucial first innings points.

But a twist in the tale was yet to come as number nine Andrew Morrison gave his team a lifeline with a fantastic 54 not out.

Between him and Brett Randall (13*) Auckland got within 37 of Central’s first innings score, but managed to cling to a draw at the end of day two.

Robbie Yule was the pick of the bowlers for Central and picked up two wickets for 40 runs in his 16 overs.

It was an entertaining game with an exciting finish to boot. Both teams walked away with just the one point.

Points table

Central Districts – 16
Auckland – 7
Canterbury – 7
Northern Districts – 2
Otago – 2
Wellington – 2

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