The Karori Cricket Club ground in Wellington became the third venue to host its initial first-class match this season, with the Wellington Firebirds hosting the Central Stags. The Lincoln No.3 ground and Saxton Oval in Nelson are the other venues to have hosted their first matches earlier this season. Karori Park is the sixty-fifth first-class venue to have been used in New Zealand.
Wellington amassed their fourth total of over five hundred against Central Districts before declaring at 501 for six. Grant Elliott was 188 not out when he declared, just eight runs short of his highest first-class score, while Luke Ronchi became the twelfth player to score a century on debut for Wellington.
There were another three centuries in the innings as Kyle Jarvis, Steve Smidt and Tarun Nethula all conceded more than a hundred runs bowling for the Central Stags. Grant Elliott shared in a stand of 155 for the fifth wicket with Luke Woodcock, while he and Luke Ronchi shared in the first ever partnership of 171 for the Firebirds, when adding this amount for the sixth wicket.
Daniel Flynn hit his third century in successive matches for the Northern Knights, as he scored 123 not out against the Auckland Aces. This was his tenth century for the Knights equalling Graeme Hick's record of most centuries for them. However it was just his first century against the Aces.
It was also the first occasion that a Knights batsman has recorded a score of 123, albeit not out. This was the lowest unrecorded score for Northern Districts, but now that stands as 134.
After all the rain interruptions at Colin Maiden Park, the fourth day saw the unusual situation of the Aces declaring at 43 for two wickets and then being required to follow on. This was a tactical move on the Aces part as the Knights were more likely to obtain bowling bonus points than Auckland was to get batting bonus points. Obviously Auckland took the risk of being bowled out in their second innings and conceding the twelve points for an outright win, but the rain stopped any chance of that happening.
Light once again played a part in the outcome of a match as Otago were just nine runs short of victory with plenty of overs in hand when the umpires took the players from the field at University Oval. Earlier Craig Cumming and Hamish Rutherford had rattled on 116 runs for the Otago Volts first wicket to set them well on the way towards their target.
This was the forty-first century partnership that Cumming had shared in for the Volts. He was also involved in four during his time with Canterbury and so has now shared in forty-five century stands. This is the most by a player in New Zealand domestic cricket, passing the forty-four of Matthew Sinclair for the Central Stags.
A Reece Young century, his second of the season, had helped the Canterbury Wizards recover to reach 199 in their first innings. He was indebted to debutant Ed Nuttall and the last batsman, Willie Lonsdale as they hung around long enough for him to reach three figures.
Ed Nuttall was one of seven players in this match whose fathers had played first-class cricket also. The others were Tom Latham, Todd Astle and Matt McEwan (Canterbury) and the Otago trio of Hamish Rutherford, Michael Bracewell and Nathan McCullum.
Nuttall is the third player from the New Zealand Under 19 squad selected for the Quadrangular Tournament in Australia in April to play first-class cricket this season. The captain, Will Young, was playing his third first-class match for the Central Stags during this round, while Joe Walker was playing his first match of the season for the Northern Knights.