Wellington extricated themselves from a parlous position to escape with a draw against Plunket Shield rivals Canterbury.
The hosts were in a serious plight at 29 for five once their top order dissolved when challenged to score 342 to win the match on the fourth and final day at the Basin Reserve in the capital.
And when skipper Grant Elliott was dismissed for 37 to leave them at 74 for six Wellington’s chances of winning were long gone and avoiding defeat their principle aim.
They managed to achieve that thanks to a defiance of Harry Boam and Craig Cachopa, who collaborated in a stand that produced 124 runs.
Boam made a gutsy and heady 81 not out and Cachopa a belligerent 58 to stall the Wizards’ advance after the southerners had earlier found the pitch to their liking to post 192 for one declared in their second innings.
Boam was calm and composed during his stay of 212 minutes while Cachopa responded to the match situation by attacking the bowlers as he struck five fours and four sixes before Reece Young accepted a sharp catch behind off Willie Lonsdale.
The handshakes were exchanged just after 6pm with Wellington on 217 for seven.
Earlier, Canterbury scored at close to five runs an over as captain Peter Fulton led the way by making 86 not out with 12 fours and two sixes, George Worker contributed 74 in 102 minutes in an opening stand of 117 and Shanan Stewart chipped in with an unbeaten 28.
Certainly nothing happened during this period to prepare Wellington’s batsmen for their collapse as the hosts lost half of their wickets in 16 overs.
Young fast bowler Matt Henry removed Josh Brodie just two balls into the innings and then dismissed first innings centurymaker Stephen Murdoch for three, while Michael Papps, Michael Pollard and Luke Woodcock all failed to reach double figures.
A fine century to Stephen Murdoch has kept alive Wellington’s quest for maximum Plunket Shield points against Canterbury.
A full day was possible in the capital today as Murdoch scored 101 not out off just 126 balls in Wellington’s first innings of 188 for one declared at the Basin Reserve.
But having lost the entire second day as well as today’s first session because of rain, the hosts are running out of time to force a result after Canterbury were dismissed for 337 in their first innings this afternoon.
Gifted a first innings lead of 149, Canterbury extended their advantage by only two runs for no cost before bad light forced an early finish.
Earlier, after resuming on 283 for five Canterbury added another 54 runs as young batsman Henry Nicholls progressed from his overnight 56 to 82, his second successive first-class half-century.
Nicholls’ resistance ended when he was the ninth man out, bowled by hard working seamer Mark Gillespie, who ended with the figures of three for 87 off 35 overs.
Also of value for Wellington was offspinner Jeetan Patel, who took three for 70 off 23.5 overs.
Wellington suffered an early setback when opener Josh Brodie, who has been prolific in recent matches, was trapped leg before wicket for 10 by Ryan McCone, but Murdoch, who struck eight fours and four sixes in a robust display, and Michael Papps
made excellent progress to share an unbroken second wicket partnership of 163 runs.
Murdoch was particularly aggressive in compiling his fourth first-class century while Papps’ contribution was important also as he contributed an unbeaten 72.
Canterbury and Wellington were kept inactive as the second day of their Plunket Shield match in the capital was lost to rain.
The teams were unable to take the field at the Basin Reserve, leaving the Wizards to resume their first innings at 283 for five tomorrow.
Henry Nicholls is due to resume his innings on 56 with Todd Astle on 24.
It was a familiar theme for Canterbury on the first day of their Plunket Shield match against Wellington in the capital today.
The Wizards went to stumps on a promising 283 for five at the Basin Reserve after the Firebirds won the toss and asked them to bat first.
As has been the case for much of the season a number of Canterbury batsmen got themselves in but failed to go on to score anything of substance while the Wellington bowlers kept chipping away.
Five batsmen passed 35 but only one topped 50 as Canterbury failed to get on top of an accurate attack.
The best of them was Henry Nicholls, who spent 141 minutes crafting an unbeaten 56 and will resume tomorrow alongside Todd Astle on 24 after the pair put on an unbroken stand of 59 for the sixth wicket.
Those to make a start without pushing on were opener George Worker with 47, Shanan Stewart 46, wicketkeeper Reece Young 42 and Tom Latham 39 , all of them occupying the crease for close to two hours as a series of handy partnerships were formed.
Nonetheless, Canterbury were solid without being spectacular against a steady Wellington attack which stuck to its task.