Wizard's wait finally over

Canterbury’s wait for Plunket Shield success this season is finally over.
  
They broke their duck in style, too, registering their first win of the campaign by 178 runs after rolling Central Districts for just 118 on the fourth and final afternoon of the eighth round fixture in Nelson.
  
Young fast bowler Matt Henry opened with a withering six-over burst to reduce the Stags to 27 for six when they were left 297 to win in 60 overs once Wizards captain Peter Fulton declared his team’s second innings at 159 for nine.
  
Henry, 20, took four for 11 from his initial spell before ending with four for 40 as Central Districts collapsed in a heap ahead of some spikey lower order hitting.
  
Nelson captain BJ Barnett went down fighting by hitting six fours in an unbeaten 40 on his first-class debut while Bevan Small made 22 in a ninth wicket stand of 49 to delay the inevitable after the damage had been done.
  
Legspinner Todd Astle complemented Henry’s fine work by taking three for 28 and seamer Willie Lonsdale was useful as well in claiming two for 19.
  
Having lost the entire third day to rain, the Stags earlier declared at their overnight 283 for five to gift Canterbury a first innings lead of 137 runs.
  
They looked as if they needed all of that when they struggled in their second turn at bat before a fluent 51 from Tom Latham gave them some momentum.
  
Latham, who scored his maiden first-class century in his side’s first innings of 420 for nine declared, struck seven fours off 70 deliveries while No 10 Tim Johnston smacked an important 22 not out off 31.
  
All of the Stags bowlers enjoyed some success, the best of them being seamer Kieran Noema-Barnett, who took three for 20 off 11 overs, while Kyle Jarvis, Bevan Small and Tarun Nethula picked up two wickets apiece.

Day 3: Rain Interrupts play

The elements won the argument as the Plunket Shield match between the Canterbury Wizards and the Central Stags ground to a halt in Nelson.

Rain meant no play was possible on the scheduled third day of the eighth round fixture, leaving the Stags at 283 for five in their first innings chasing the Wizards’ 420 for nine declared.

Outside of a series of helpful declarations, the weather has affectively taken an outright result out of the equation when the Stags resume tomorrow, with newcomer Will Young looking to push on from his 50 not out, his maiden first-class half-century in just his second match at this level.

Day 2: Hopkins ton leaves Auckland in command

Gareth Hopkins rubbed salt into Otago’s wounds with a fine century as Auckland continued to dominate their Plunket Shield match in Auckland.

The Aces wicketkeeper and captain stroked 109 not out as the home side declared at 347 for eight declared in their first innings on the second day of the match at Colin Maiden Park.

Otago, who were rolled for 63 on the first day, reached 79 for one in their second innings by stumps to trail by 205 runs at the halfway stage of the eighth round fixture.

Hamish Rutherford departed for 39, leaving Craig Cumming, on 30, to take guard tomorrow morning alongside nightwatchman Nick Beard on six.

Auckland began today already firmly in control at 154 for one after left-arm fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan collected a career-best haul of eight for 23 to totally undermine the visitors.

But Jeet Raval added only three more to his overnight 81 and while Neal Parlane progressed from 39 to 55 it was largely Hopkins who was responsible for extending their first innings advantage to 282 runs.

His 13th first-class century, and his second in successive matches, occupied just 129 balls and 167 minutes as he hit 12 fours and two sixes in a belligerent display.

Neil Wagner was the most successful Otago bowler, the left-arm quick working hard through 32 overs for his three for 72.

Day 1: Latham does the business for Wizards

Young left-hander Tom Latham ticked off an important milestone to give his Canterbury Wizards team the edge against Plunket Shield rivals Central Stags today.

The 19-year-old left-hander crafted his maiden first-class century as the Wizards ended the first day at 341 for five in their first innings at Saxton Oval in Nelson.

Latham was 116 not out by the close after hitting 17 fours in an occupation which has so far lasted 261 minutes

He enjoyed a partnership of 109 for the fifth wicket with Andrew Ellis, whose contribution was 39, to ensure Canterbury continued to prosper from a solid start laid on by the top order.

Opener Peter Fulton produced a captain’s knock of 88 in four hours while George Worker managed 33 and Shanan Stewart 26 as the Stags were made to work for any success which came their way.

Seamer Bevan Small was the most successful of seven bowlers used with two for 69 while Kyle Jarvis, Kieran Noema-Barnett and Carl Cachopa each took one wicket apiece.

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