State Central Stags batsman Peter Ingram is poised to better his highest first class score of 166 not out when play resumes tomorrow against State Northern Knights in Hamilton.
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At stumps on the second day today, Central were 201 for two in their first innings having dismissed Northern, who resumed on an overnight score of 136 for two, for 325 just after tea. Ingram needed just 164 balls for an aggressive 144 not out, containing 23 boundaries and a six. It was his eighth first class century. At the other end, skipper Mathew Sinclair was 22 not out.
Central paceman Ewen Thompson, who grabbed seven Auckland wickets in the last round, made the breakthrough this morning, dismissing opener Cameron Merchant with just five runs added to the score.
Merchant, 88 overnight, might consider himself unlucky. He had added just one run to his score when Thompson trapped him leg before wicket but the ball might have feathered off his bat first.
Merchant's departure sparked a mini-collapse as Northern lost two more wickets for 20 runs including skipper James Marshall for 15, and Peter McGlashan, another Thompson victim, for eight.
BLACKCAPS all rounder Jacob Oram, who suffered a broken index finger on his left hand while fielding yesterday, looked comfortable sending down 14 overs today to finish with figures of one for 22 off 18 overs.
Kane Williamson, with 73, and Graeme Aldridge repaired the Northern innings with a handsome stand of 135 for the sixth wicket before Williamson gave George Worker a catch off Richard Sherlock.
Aldridge, batting higher up the order than normal, was Northern's unlikely hero. With a previous best of 49 from 83 first class innings, he was 73 not out when his side's innings ended.
There was little he could do as he watched Central take the remaining four wickets at the other end for the cost of just 25 runs.
Sherlock, three for 52, and Thompson, three for 61, shared the wicket-taking honours with Brad Patton chiming in with two for 19.
Northern were without coach Andy Moles for most of the day -- he was in Auckland being unveiled as the new BLACKCAPS coach.