Run-feast ends in draw

A batsmen's paradise on the Eden Park outer oval saw the match between State Auckland Aces and State Wellington Firebirds end in a draw today.

After rain washed out the first day, 974 runs were scored with just 12 wickets falling in the three days remaining.

Wellington amassed 533 for five before declaring after lunch on the third day yesterday.

At stumps today, Auckland, resuming on their overnight score of 133 without loss, were 441 for seven in reply, still 93 short of claiming first innings points.

Auckland opener Tim McIntosh, resuming on 70, compiled a meticulous 191 -- the fourth century of the match. Earlier, Matthew Bell scored 122, James Franklin 219 and Luke Woodcock 102 not out for Wellington.

With his second century in three matches this season -- he scored 140 against Canterbury -- McIntosh became the leading century-maker for the province with 13, surpassing former international Trevor Franklin's record of 12.

McIntosh, who hit 16 boundaries and five sixes, finally departed after an eight-hour stay when he pushed forward and edged a ball from spinner Luke Woodcock into the hands of wicketkeeper Chris Nevin.

Graham Napier led Wellington's push to claim first innings points, dismissing Richard Jones for 69, Scott Styris one, Steven Croft 34 and Paul Hitchcock 20.

Allrounder Franklin took one wicket.

The match saw Mark Houghton step in to replace Jeetan Patel who left to join the Black Caps for the second test against Australia beginning tomorrow in Adelaide.

Wellington were frustrated by Colin de Grandhomme and Tarun Nethula who clung on for 90 minutes until stumps.

At the close, De Grandhomme was 43 not out and Nethula 17 not out.

NZPA

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