Wellington take first innings after rain halts play

Poor weather has denied Otago cricketer Greg Todd the chance to score his fifth first-class century.

Todd and his teammates made their way to the Basin Reserve here today keen for play to resume with him six just runs shy of three figures.

However, rain prevented any play on the scheduled fourth and final day of the State Championship match against the State Wellington Firebirds, leaving Todd stranded on 94 not out with Otago on 257 for two in their second innings, holding an overall lead of 202 runs.

Wellington gained two points for winning on the first innings, improving their season's haul to 22 with a final round match against the Northern Knights starting in Whangarei on Saturday to come.

The Auckland Aces, outright winners over the Northern Knights yesterday, are already guaranteed a place in the final beginning on April 6.

They lead the standings on 35 points and cannot be headed irrespective of the results from the final round of matches.

The Central Stags, whose seventh round fixture against the Canterbury Wizards ends in New Plymouth tomorrow, are presently second on 25 points, followed by Wellington.  

Day 3 - Otago 257 for two, lead Wellington by 202

The State Wellington Firebirds declared on 325 before lunch on day three giving them a first innings lead of 55 runs in their State Championship match against the State Otago Volts at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. 

Firebirds wicketkeeper-batsman Chris Nevin made 93 and was supported by Jeetan Patel who made 44. 

Mathew Harvie took three for 44 with the spin bowling of Nathan McCullum returning three for 84.

Otago have made a decent start to their second innings being 257 for two at the end of the day - 202 runs ahead. 

Captain Craig Cumming is notched up his fourteenth first-class century, ending with 118. Greg Todd will resume tomorrow on 94.

Day 2 - Wellington 246 for 6, trail Otago by 24 runs

The State Wellington Firebirds have taken their score through to 246 for six before rain stopped play at tea on day two of the State Championship match against the State Otago Volts at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. 

The Firebirds were struggling at 98 for six but an unbeaten 148 run partnership between Chris Nevin (65*) and Dewayne Bowden (85*) steadied the innings and will continue batting tomorrow. 

Warren McSkimming and Nathan McCullum picked up two wickets each.

Day 1: Otago out for 270, Wellington seven without loss

The Brodie-Patel show helped the State Wellington Firebirds claw back the upper hand against the State Otago Volts on the first day of their State Championship four-day cricket match in Wellington.

Otago were dismissed for 270 as shadows lengthened at the Basin Reserve, an inadequate outcome given the foundations laid by Aaron Redmond and Craig Cumming.

The two former New Zealand test openers carried Otago to 122 for the first wicket but Redmonds' dismissal for 76 and Cumming's for 45 two overs later sparked a steady stream of departures.

Only 64 from Leighton Morgan and a defiant 29 from Neil Wagner prevented a complete collapse as Jeetan Patel unleashed some quality spin bowling, aided by some classy catching from Josh Brodie.

Offspinner Patel put any disappointment about non-selection for the first test against India behind him with figures of five for 65 off 33 overs.

Four of his wickets were via catches from Brodie, who spent much of the day under the helmet.

Brodie's hands accounted for five of the first six wickets, seeing him join a group of just nine non-wicketkeepers in New Zealand first class history to claim five catches in an innings.

If young opening batsman Brodie had snared one more victim, he would have been on his own with six, but none of the remaining four dismissals fell into his path.

Two other Wellingtonians have claimed five first class catches -- Jack Lamason in 1937/38 and John Morrison in 1980/81 -- while Canterbury's Johann Myburgh achieved it earlier this summer against Auckland in Rangiora.

Seamer Dewayne Bowden claimed three for 52 for the hosts and spinner Luke Woodcock two for 61.

Wellington survived two overs before stumps to be seven without loss, with captain Matthew Bell on six and Brodie one.

NZPA

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