Cricket: Ten Doeschate stars in fightback

Otago's Dutch import, Ryan ten Doeschate, plays forward during his innings of 88 not out on day one of the Volts' Plunket Shield match against Central Districts at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. The umpire is Gary Baxter. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Otago's Dutch import, Ryan ten Doeschate, plays forward during his innings of 88 not out on day one of the Volts' Plunket Shield match against Central Districts at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. The umpire is Gary Baxter. Photo by Linda Robertson.

Dutch international and Otago all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate is poised to celebrate a major milestone in the best possible way.

The 32-year-old is playing in his 100th first-class game and was undefeated on 88 when poor light stopped play during Otago's Plunket Shield match against Central Districts at the University Oval yesterday.

Otago reached 181 for four in a frustrating opening day that saw an entire session lost to poor weather. But ten Doeschate made the most of his time in the middle and is 12 runs short of posting what would be his 19th first-class 100.

Otago captain Sam Wells was satisfied rather than pleased with his side's position. With Central enjoying a healthy buffer at the top of the competition table, he knows Otago will need to make all the running.

"We can make up a lot of overs in the next three days if the weather stays fine,'' Wells said.

"But I don't think they'll do us any favours with declarations when they lead the competition by 18, so it will be hard work for us to take 20 wickets.

"We played really well after a shaky start but we will be looking to push the tempo of the game and make the play.''

Rain delayed the start until 3pm. Having elected to bat first, Otago was immediately under pressure with Hamish Rutherford nicking out for two.

It took a brilliant catch from Jamie How to secure the breakthrough, though. The Central Districts captain dived low to his right and scooped up the ball one-handed. Michael Bracewell compounded the poor start when he played a forgettable shot, spooning a catch to point.

Peter Trego bowled a lot of good deliveries but it was a wide over-tossed one that bought Bracewell's dismissal.

Trego took one for nine from his opening six-over spell and Lamb also looked threatening.

But rather than shrink into its shell, Otago counterpunched through Aaron Redmond and ten Doeschate. The pair grabbed the initiative with some super stroke play.

Redmond executed the late cut with textbook precision and also played some delightful drives.

Ten Doeschate got to 20 before he looked comfortable but, once set, he unleashed some brutal lofted drives through the covers.

By tea, Otago was in a much better position at 112 for two and had scored at a good clip.

Ten Doeschate survived a sharp chance after the break when he drilled a drive straight back to bowler Bevan Small. The shot was at a good height for catching but blasted its way free of Small's grasp.

The wicket came at the other end with Redmond nicking out to left arm spinner Ajaz Patel on 63, and Neil Broom hit out for 14 shortly before stumps.

The Black Caps' loss has been Northern Districts' gain, with Tim Southee producing a stunning performance on day one of his team's Plunket Shield match in Wellington yesterday.

Southee smashed 156 from 130 balls to lead his side to 403, before picking up four Wellington wickets late in the day to reduce the hosts to 32 for four.

The 24-year-old hit 18 fours and six sixes in recording his maiden first-class century, and also bowled Jesse Ryder for a two-ball duck.

Southee is playing in the match only after being left out of New Zealand's squad for their upcoming twenty/20 series in South Africa due to the impending birth of his first child. After coming to the crease with the Knights on 161 for six, Southee quickly showed his attacking intent. He raced to 50 from 46 balls and the milestone did nothing to slow him, with 21 taken from one Scott Kuggeleijn over, and he brought up his maiden ton from just 88 balls.

He and Daryl Mitchell put on 166 for the seventh wicket before Mitchell was dismissed for 43. Southee went on unabated, eventually passing 150 to drive up his first-class average of 16.

The Knights declared shortly after he was dismissed by Kuggeleijn, as if sensing the sooner Southee returned to the middle, the better.

They were right, with the seamer taking just six balls to remove Wellington opener Josh Brodie. Southee struck again in his third over, before dismissing Michael Papps and Ryder in his fifth. Elsewhere, Canterbury's English import Gareth Andrew gave Southee a run for his money in the player-of-the-day stakes at Eden Park's outer oval. After beginning day two on 126no, the No 8 batsman carried on to post his own highest score of 180no before Canterbury declared on 405 for nine.

The Wizards also chose to give the ball to the hot hand and Andrew rewarded that decision by taking three balls to remove Lou Vincent for a golden duck.

He soon sent Reece Young back to the pavilion and, with some assistance from his fellow bowlers, put Auckland in trouble on 58 for five. But half centuries from Englishman Phil Mustard (55), Gareth Hopkins (96no) and Kyle Mills (61no) pushed the Aces to 264 for seven at stumps.