Strong performances by Brad Patton with the bat and Ewen Thompson with the ball left the State Auckland Aces facing defeat heading into the final day of their State Championship match against State Central Stags.
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Central were dismissed for 335 in their second innings on the third day of play at Napier today, lead by a maiden first-class century to Brad Patton in just his second first-class match, to establish a lead of 341.
At stumps, Auckland's reply was in trouble at 159-6 – still 183 short of victory. They lost their top order cheaply and their hopes of a successful run chase took a dive when key batsman Scott Styris departed for a quick-fire 71 off 81 balls.
Stags left-arm paceman Thompson, who bagged five wickets in Auckland's first innings, brought his match total to seven as he grabbed the wickets of Andrew de Boorder (7) and Reece Young (34).
George Worker claimed another two wickets while Brent Hefford and Mitchell McClenaghan chimed in with one apiece.
Auckland were reeling at 62-3 until Styris and Young put on 68 runs for the fourth wicket.
But once Worker got Styris leg before wicket in the 37th over, Colin de Grandhomme (0) and Young followed with just another 24 runs added to the total. Earlier, the 29-year-old Patton anchored Central's second innings with a well-compiled 142 after resuming on his overnight score of 61. The left-hander, who scored 57 in the first innings, hit 15 fours in his 285-ball stay and was the last man out.
Tim Weston, 33 not out overnight, doubled his score to 66 as he shared a 106-run partnership with Patton before being run out by de Boorder. Skipper Mathew Sinclair contributed 58 before gifting Styris a catch in the slips off Steven Croft.
Andrew McKay cleaned up the Central tail to snap up 4-57 with Lance Shaw claiming 3-75.