Rain blights State Championship

Rain sent State Championship cricketers scuttling for cover today, allowing less than 100 total overs across three matches.

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View Volts v Wizards Scorebord

The first day was washed out at Eden Park outer oval, leaving the State Wellington Firebirds and State Auckland Aces to twiddle collective thumbs while the team they share the early competition lead with – State Central Stags -- managed just 43.4 overs in the field against State Northern Knights in Hamilton.

The most productive action came in Invercargill, where State Otago Volts won the toss and reached 211 for four against State Canterbury Wizards.

Seamer Andy Ellis was the only effective Cantabrian with the ball, taking three for 44 as the hosts steadily built at Queen's Park.

Opener Shaun Haig scored 52 and shared an opening stand of 72 before Craig Cumming was Ellis' first victim for 31.

Neil Broom was unbeaten on 48 when play was halted mid-afternoon while Neil McCullum was with him on 30.

Meanwhile, Australian-born Northern opener Cameron Merchant was on track for his maiden first-class century as his side reached 136 for two at Seddon Park.

Merchant, 24, had reached an attractive 88 featuring 12 fours and two sixes when rain intervened.

Michael Parlane was run out for 36 soon before the covers were wheeled out.

Left-arm opening bowler Ewen Thompson continued his bright early-season form for Central, taking the wicket of bogged-down opener BJ Watling for two in the ninth over to have one for 20 off 12 overs.

All three matches are scheduled for earlier 10am starts tomorrow.

NZPA

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