Canterbury batsman Peter Fulton plays a shot through the on
side during his innings of 102 in the Plunket Shield match
against Otago at the University Oval yesterday. The
wicketkeeper is Derek de Boorder. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Otago usually rolls out the green carpet for visiting
sides this early in the summer.
But the typically lively University Oval pitch was a rather
spent offering instead and Canterbury captain Peter Fulton
mostly took advantage yesterday.
The former Black Cap posted his 10th first-class century to
help his side reach 254 on a pitch where not a blade of grass
was to be seen.
Otago had to face one over at the end of the day and made a
mini statement with Hamish Rutherford stroking a boundary
down the ground.
Otago coach Vaughn Johnson was thrilled with the way his side
kept battling. Canterbury was 176 for one and looked to be
getting into a dominant position.
"I wasn't all that happy at a 170-odd for one but the boys
toiled well after lunch," Johnson said.
"To bowl them out and get maximum bonus points was very
pleasing. There is not a lot in the wicket but there is no
use talking about the wicket. That's what we are playing on.
We just get on with it.
"It is important we bat well because it might get difficult
on day four. But if we bat well in our first innings then
maybe we can negate that."
At face value, Fulton's innings of 102 was a decent knock but
a really big hundred was on offer had he been able to
maintain his concentration.
But shortly after clipping a delivery from Jimmy Neesham to
the fine leg boundary, Fulton pulled a short-pitched delivery
from the same bowler straight to Darren Broom at square leg.
He had not looked like getting out but, as so often happens,
relaxed once he reached the milestone and had a mental lapse.
Some of his team-mates took that as a cue to tune out. Dean
Brownlie certainly did. He scooped a full toss back to the
bowler. Henry Nicholls nicked out driving, and Shanan
Stewart, having played patiently toget to 76, gently guided a
ball straight to Neil Broom.
Canterbury lost its last nine wickets for 78 runs.
Ben McCord will probably count himself unlucky. Ian Butler
was convinced he trapped him lbw but umpire Barry Frost took
a long time to make the decision in favour of the bowler. The
wicketkeeper, Derek de Boorder, was a metre down leg and
Butler had just lost faith in his long appeal when Frost
raised his finger.
While perhaps fortunate on that occasion, Butler bowled
tremendously without much luck to achieve his one for 63.
Jacob Duffy enhanced his reputation with another impressive
outing, taking three for 35, and Neesham bowled some tidy
spells and got reward with two for 41.
Spinner Mark Craig was at his frugal best with three for 28
from 19.3 overs and seems to get better with every outing at
Debutant Blair Soper was the only black spot in an otherwise
fine bowling performance. The 21-year-old left-armer bowled
too short and disappeared through point or to the midwicket
He did manage to nab his maiden first-class wicket, though.
George Worker got a bottomedge when he tried to hoist the
ball over midwicket.
Auckland has rocketed up the Plunket Shield standings after
another fine day with the ball secured a 10-wicket win
against Northern Districts at Eden Park's outer oval
yesterday, APNZ reported.
The Knights were nine down when the heavens opened yesterday
afternoon, trailing Auckland's first innings total by eight
runs. They returned to achieve that target and take a 12-run
lead but, in the day's remaining three overs, Auckland
openers Lou Vincent and Tim McIntosh completed the small
Auckland took 19 points from the match which propelled it
from the bottom of the standings into third place after two