Cricket: Auckland lurch from bad to worse

Jeet Raval in action.
Jeet Raval in action.

Auckland's Plunket Shield campaign is off to a shocker; they were dismissed yesterday for just 62 by Wellington, who then marched away to be 246 for none at stumps at the Basin Reserve.

It could have been far worse. Auckland, sent in, were 12 for seven at one point as newcomer Ollie Newton ripped out three wickets in his first four balls.

The statistically-minded scrambled for record books which revealed it was Auckland's eighth worst first-class total, although most were a century ago. The most relevant was the 46 they were rolled for by Otago in Dunedin in the 2010-11 season. Only two tailenders made double figures, while five batsman failed to score as Newton was left chuffed by figures of four for 26, while former international Hamish Bennett took three for two off five overs.

Had Wellington fared poorly that might have been tolerable; instead veteran pair Michael Papps and Luke Woodcock filled their boots on the Auckland bowling, and former test opener Papps starts today on 163 - his 32nd first-class ton - with Woodcock on 64.

The pair are still some way short of the Wellington record of 333 set by Bruce Edgar and Andrew Jones against Auckland at the Basin in 1988-89 but Wellington will set out today to push on towards a convincing win to start their season.

Things are a little more evenly-balanced in Christchurch where Otago will resume at 63 for three in their first innings in reply to Canterbury's 155.

Michael Pollard's 54 shone for defending champions Canterbury while test bowlers current and past, seamer Neil Wagner (two for 47) and spinner Mark Craig (two for 32), were among the wickets.

Northern and Central Districts will start in Mt Maunganui today, after rain washed out the first day.

- NZ Herald

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