After three engrossing days of cricket the match between the Canterbury Wizards and Auckland Aces ended in a draw at QEII Park in Christchurch.
Canterbury dominated the first two days with Michael Papps, Johannes Myburgh and Chris Harris reaching triple figures as the team made a formidable 540 but Auckland responded with 392 declared on day three.
Rob Nicol and Todd Astle both scored half centuries in the second innings with the home team hitting 133 for one, leaving Auckland a target of 281 with half a day to play.
Aces openers Richard Jones and Ravi Bopara made a decent start with the first 50 runs coming in 9.4 overs but the when they were dismissed the hopes of victory diminished.
Unbeaten batsmen Scott Styris (33 from 124) and Reece Young (36 from 74) nursed there team through to the draw.
The Wizards picked up first innings points with the Aces walking away empty handed.
It is the third straight loss for last year’s champions who are yet to pick up a point. Canterbury drop one place to sit third on the table.
Day 3: Canterbury Wizards six without loss lead Auckland Aces by 154 runs
The Auckland Aces have chewed through the Canterbury Wizards advantage on a batting friendly wicket at QEII Park in Christchurch but declared when still 148 runs behind.
Starting the day on 157 for two the visitors have took their total through to 392 for seven before asking Canterbury to bat again.
English Import Ravi Bopara made 90 with Scott Styris bringing up his tenth First-Class ton. Styris batted from over five and a half hours and faced 262 balls for his 112.
Wicketkeeper batsman Reece Young also contributed with 57.
Rob Nicol (1) and Michael Papps (3) will resume tomorrow for Canterbury.
Day 2: Auckland 157 for two trail Canterbury Wizards by 383
The Canterbury Wizards continued on through the morning session before finally being dismissed for 540 shortly after lunch on day two of the Plunket Shield match against the Auckland Aces at QEII Park in Christchurch.
Chris Harris made 22 more runs to finish on 105 – his fifteenth First Class ton.
All-rounders Andrew Ellis and Brandon Hiini continued their good form with the bat putting on 58 and 64 not out respectively.
Michael Bates took three for 73 with Ravi Bopara taking three for 109.
The Auckland Aces have made a steady start in reply with opener Richard Jones hitting 46 and Aranu Kitchen 30. Ravi Bopara (61) and Scott Styris on (18) will resume tomorrow with the Aces on 157 for two.
Day 1: Canterbury Wizards 368 for six batting first
The Canterbury Wizards took full advantage of the favourable batting conditions on day one of the Plunket Shield match against the Auckland Aces at QEII park in Christchurch – putting on 368 for the loss of six wickets.
Centuries from Michael Papps and Johannes Myburgh and an unbeaten half century from veteran Chris Harris set up a formidable total.
Papps hit 19 boundaries in his 107 before being run out with Myburgh the Wizards highest run scorer so far with 120. Myburgh batted for over four hours and struck 13 fours and a four sixes in his twelfth First Class ton.
Forty year old Chris Harris was also in great touch and will resume tomorrow on 83 not out.
English import Ravi Bopara was the best of the Auckland attack with three for 69 with pace bowler Michael Bates taking two for 64.