The Central Districts Under-19 team got their competition underway in style, claiming first-innings points against Wellington in their nearest neighbours two-day match at Karori Park, Wellington.
James McDougall stole the limelight with a sensational double century for Central to help them declare at 354 for seven on the first day. They then proceeded to bowl Wellington out for 168 after 38.3 overs to secure some benefit from the match.
Central then occupied the crease for the remainder of the game to finish comfortably at 114 for two. Opener Byrnn Cleaver was unbeaten on 44, while Aran Noema-Barnett came in and smashed 49 from 20 deliveries to see out the final overs.
Wellington’s pursuit of the first innings total was hurt by the top-order only managing to make small starts. Four of the top five made double figures, but 19 was the highest of them.
They were then saved by a fantastic unbeaten knock of 81 from Sam Le Gros to keep their slim hopes alive. Unfortunately though a reliable partner was not forthcoming for Le Gros and he was left stranded 19 short of his century.
Jack Arnall did the majority of the damage with the ball for Central, picking up four wickets in his eight overs for 32 runs, while two others picked up three wickets apiece.
Earlier, James McDougall had constructed a master-piece with the bat to amount an unbeaten 200 not out – an innings he is unlikely to forget.
The number three was simply unstoppable, crushing 15 fours and whacking eight sixes to reach the incredible milestone off 249 deliveries. Once he’d raised his bat, Central were able to declare with an imposing total behind them
McDougall found a couple of helpful partners along the way, with Cleaver contributing 27 and Graeme Tyron making 66.
It was tough going for the Wellington bowlers, with Will Brunton the best of them collecting two for 46 from 13 overs.
The teams will next play when they meet in Lincoln to play in a ten day long tournament.