The Plunket Shield match between the Northern Knights and the Canterbury Wizards has ended in a draw, as large periods of rain ended the Knights hopes of a result.
Played at Seddon Park in Hamilton, the Knights endeavoured to bowl out the Wizards on the final day having set them an unlikely total of 425 for victory.
Sadly though the match fizzled out, as only a little over 27 overs were managed before rain forced the players from the field soon after lunch – they wouldn’t return.
In that time the Knights made some headway, but were unable to create the collapse they required. George Worker was the first to succumb on 18, while Tom Latham played patiently for 23 from 56 until he too was dismissed.
Captain Peter Fulton was as resilient as ever though and played his natural game to reach 69 not out from 92 balls.
Along with Dean Brownlie (1*) he saw the Wizards to 112 for two from 33.5 overs, until the umpires had no other choice but to abandoned the rest of the day.
The draw means that the Wizards stay in fourth spot, while the Knights remain at the bottom in sixth.
Day three: Knights take charge on day three
The Northern Knights have batted themselves into a dominant position in their Plunket Shield match against the Canterbury Wizards at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
Having resumed at 116 for three with a lead of 130, the Knights piled on the runs to establish a 424 run lead before declaring at 410 for five.
In reply the Wizards were 22 without loss, until rain brought play to a close after 6.4 overs.
Joseph Yovich was instrumental in the Knights big second innings, maintaining his superb run of form with 128 off 291 balls. The 35 year-old showed all of his experience with the perfect mix of aggression and patience to bring up his sixth First-Class century.
Alongside Yovich for much of his time at the crease was Daryl Mitchell, who also played sensibly for his 73 from 130. The pair put on 137 for the fourth wicket, until both fell in the space of nine runs.
The Wizards though would not strike again, as BJ Watling (68*) and Corey Anderson (69*) combined to inflict further pain on the visitors.
Having started slow, the pair found their rhythm and began to find the boundary regularly, with some late sixes pushing their lead beyond the 400 mark.
After 122 overs they were reined in by their captain, as the Knights declared and looked to make some early inroads into the Wizards top-order.
A break through wasn’t forthcoming though, as George Worker (14*) and Peter Fulton (8*) saw out the rest of the day.
With rain scheduled for tomorrow it will take something special from either side to produce a result, but the Knights are undoubtedly favourites.
Day two: Knights, Wizards continue to scrap
Day two of the Plunket Shield match between the Northern Knights and Canterbury Wizards failed to define a clear favourite, as both teams fought hard to gain the advantage.
The Knights are currently 116 for three in the second innings with an overall lead of 130. The Wizards had been dismissed for 186 earlier on, in reply to the Knights first innings score of an even 200.
Towards day’s end Joseph Yovich and James Marshall were building towards a safe lead for the Knights side, having lost the early wicket of Brad Wilson for one.
The pair came within six overs of seeing out the day, only for Marshall to go on 61 when he was stumped off the bowling of Cole McConchie.
Night watchmen Arnel (2) went too, to leave Yovich (48*) and Daryl Micthell (0*) to resume tomorrow.
Their position could have been a whole lot worse, had the Wizards top-order been able to fire earlier on.
Only Tom Latham (15) from the top six was able to make double digits in the Wizards first-innings, as the visitors were reduced to a miserable 35 for six.
Just as a complete rout seemed on the cards, English import Gareth Andrew produced a spectacular 89 from 69 deliveries. With his side struggling, Andrew whacked 13 fours and two sixes to push the Wizards total past 150.
His partner in the resurgence was BLACKCAP Todd Astle, who brought up an entertaining half-century of his own with 53 from 49 balls.
Andrew looked like he might bring up a sensational century, until he was disappointingly run-out in the 42nd over. It had been a brilliant innings and one which got the Wizards to within 14 of the Knights’ total.
Graeme Aldridge was devastating with the ball and finished with figures of five for 45 from 12 overs.
It was a frantic day two, but the match still hangs very much in the balance on day three.
Day one: Knights off to solid start
Rain ruined much of day one of the Plunket Shield match between the Northern Knights and Canterbury Wizards at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
The Knights looked comfortable on their way to 125 for two, until showers intervened in the 51st over to force the players from the pitch.
Having won the toss the Wizards opted to bowl first and had early success when they dismissed Brad Wilson for seven in the fourth over.
Joseph Yovich (40*) and James Marshall (47*) steadied things for the home side, before the latter was caught in the 41st over.
Daryl Mitchell (8*) came in and looked comfortable, before rain ended things prematurely 15 overs after lunch.
English import Gareth Andrew and Ryan McCone made the breakthroughs for the Wizards and will be hopeful of making further inroads on day two.
Play will start 10:00am on Monday.