Aces batsmen shine against Wizards

Centuries to State Auckland Aces batsmen Tim McIntosh and Reece Young opened New Zealand's domestic summer of cricket in bright fashion and put State Championship defending champions State Canterbury Wizards on the back foot.

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By stumps in bright sunshine at Rangiora, the Aces had reached 356 for six, although the last five wickets tumbled for 114 runs.

The undoubted highlight was a record second-wicket stand for the Aces against the Wizards, putting on 197 in dominant fashion.

Doughty opener McIntosh reached 140, his 12th first class century which came off 217 balls and included three sixes and eight fours.

The free-flowing Young struck 19 fours in his third ton at this level before he was trapped lbw by a full delivery from paceman Hamish Bennett two balls shy of tea with the score at 242.

BLACKCAPS allrounder Scott Styris added only one run to the total before he was given out leg before to left-arm seamer Michael Davidson without offering a shot after facing just nine balls.

BLACKCAPS wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins looked solid until he was trapped lbw by Todd Astle, the fourth wicket falling at 288.

McIntosh received a real let-off when he was on 130, when a tired shot that looped to mid off was put down by Johann Myburgh.

Ten runs later, just after a confident lbw shout, McIntosh departed when he misjudged the line of a ball from Davidson, which went on to collect off stump.

Lancashire allrounder Steven Croft fell on the final ball of the day, caught at slip for nine off the bowling of Brandon Hiini.

The Wizards’ decision to put the Aces in reaped a relatively early reward when captain Richard Jones departed in the 13th over, caught in the slips by Myburgh off Davidson for 28.

Davidson was comfortably the pick of the home bowlers, taking three for 55 off 24 tight and often penetrating overs.

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