Lister leads way for Auckland
Young Auckland pace ace Ben Lister stole the show as round four of the Plunket Shield got under way on Wednesday.
With the Black Caps returning to the competition, much of the focus was on how the internationals would perform ahead of the two-test series against the West Indies, which begins on December 1 in Wellington.
But the batsmen in particular struggled to make an impact, with skipper Kane Williamson’s 45 the best of the bunch, although allrounder Mitchell Santner outshone the specialists with a halfcentury for Northern Districts.
NORTHERN DISTRICTS v AUCKLAND at Seddon Park, Hamilton
In the battle of the bottom two teams on the ladder, Lister tore through the high-profile Northern Districts batting order to get the Aces off to a flying start.
The 21-year-old left-armer vindicated Martin Guptill-Bunce’s decision to bowl first as he claimed his maiden first-class five-wicket haul to help dismiss the hosts for just 148.
Lister finished with impressive figures of 5-29, including taking the key scalps of Black Caps captain Kanes Williamson (45) and BJ Watling (five), who was playing as a batsman only as he continues to struggle with a hip injury.
Santner, batting at No 4, topscored for Northern with 55.
Auckland made a solid start in reply with Guptill-Bunce and Black Cap Jeet Raval putting on 70 for the first wicket before the latter was bowled by Scott Kuggeleijn for 37.
Northern finished with their tails up as Martin Guptill (eight) and Colin Munro (four) departed in quick fashion.
Auckland still clearly hold the upper hand as they went to stumps at 121-3.
Northern Districts 148 (Mitchell Santner 55, Kane Williamson 45; Ben Lister 5-29, Danru Ferns 2-32, Matt McEwan 2-36) Auckland 121-3
(Martin Guptill-Bunce 53no, Jeet Raval 37; Scott Kuggeleijn 2-21).
WELLINGTON v CANTERBURY at Basin Reserve, Wellington
Wellington have a fight on their hands to continue their hot start to the season following a day dominated by the ball in the capital. Unbeaten with maximum points at the top of the standings, it appeared to be business as usual for the hosts as, after skipper Michael Bracewell elected to bowl, they skittled Canterbury for just 118 inside 40 overs.
Former Canterbury quicks Hamish Bennett and Logan van Beek had a field day against their old team, with Bennett leading the way with 5-14 on a green pitch.
Van Beek took 3-33, including New Zealand test duo Tom Latham
(16) and Henry Nicholls (13), who were both caught behind by Tom Blundell.
Canterbury’s batting effort was made to look all the more miserable as Michael Papps and Luke Woodcock put on an opening stand of 75.
However, Papps’ departure for
44 triggered a collapse as Wellington lost 5-5 before Blundell and Van Beek again combined to briefly steady the ship and earn the first innings lead.
Van Beek failed to stick around, though, as he was run out for 15, while Henry Shipley removed Jeetan Patel (four) just before stumps to leave Wellington with their noses in front on 143-7.
Canterbury 118 (Chad Bowes 29, Cole McConchie 21; Hamish Bennett 5-14, Logan van Beek 3-33) Wellington 143-7 (Michael Papps 44, Tom Blundell 33no, Luke Woodcock 31; Henry Shipley 3-35, Andy Ellis 2-38)
OTAGO v CENTRAL DISTRICTS at University of Otago Oval, Dunedin
Hamish Rutherford made the most of Otago’s first match at home this season as the former New Zealand opener registered his
11th first-class century.
With Otago opting to bat first, Rutherford smashed 20 boundaries as he went on to make 142.
His superb 247-ball knock ultimately came to a end at the hands of spinner Ajaz Patel. But Neil Broom (41), Derek de Boorder
(46 not out) and Anaru Kitchen (46 not out) continued the onslaught to take Otago to 319-5 at stumps.
Otago 319-5 (Derek de Boorder 46no, Anaru Kitchen 46no, Neil Broom 41; Adam Milne 2-80).
Auckland’s Ben Lister claimed his maiden first-class five-wicket haul on day one against Northern Districts.