Cricket: Otago, Northern pile on the runs

Auckland and Wellington both spent long days in the field today as their opponents piled on the runs in Plunket Shield action in Hamilton and Dunedin.

Home side Northern Districts sent Auckland's bowling attack to all corners of Seddon Park as three batsmen racked up centuries and they closed day two on 530-5 - a whopping 290 runs ahead of the Aces who were bowled out for 240 yesterday.

New Zealand test player Daniel Flynn top-scored for Northern as he made 166 - his 13th first-class century - with able support from Brad Wilson (139) and James Marshall (102).

Wilson and Flynn's 301-run stand was the highest partnership for the second wicket by a Northern Districts pair against any opposition and both players passed the 3000-run mark for the province during their knocks.

Auckland seamer Chris Martin picked up 2-102 from 33 overs, while spinner Bruce Martin also snared two scalps as their bowling attack was shorn of Michael Bates and Dean Bartlett due to injury.

Martin the spinner got through 43 overs today and has wheeled down 49 for the innings for a return of 2-194.

Even batsman Tim McIntosh, who had bowled only 37.4 overs in his 15-season first-class career prior to the match, got through 16 overs as Auckland looked for a way to find a wicket.

Auckland will need to spend a long time at the crease - when they finally get the chance to begin their second innings - to avoid a big defeat.

In Dunedin, Otago took advantage of a good University Oval wicket as they closed day two on 570-5, 316 runs ahead of Wellington on the first innings.

Michael Bracewell stroked his maiden first-class hundred for Otago and nearly made it a double before he was dismissed for 190 by Mark Gillespie, who took the first three wickets for Wellington and finished the day with 3-117 from 24 overs.

Former international Neil Broom made 134, while Sam Wells chipped in with 48 on a day where Otago squashed Wellington in to the turf.

Skipper Derek de Boorder (46) and Ian Robertson (27) will begin day three at the crease tomorrow as Otago will likely look to add a few more runs before they declare and send Wellington back in to bat.

No Wellington bowler was spared and only Harry Boam and Ili Tugaga were able to join Gillespie in the wicket-takers' circle but they were expensive.

In Napier, Canterbury conceded a small first-innings deficit as they were bowled out for 292 by Central Districts.

Black Cap Dean Brownlie top-scored for the Cantabrians with 88, while part-time international Andrew Ellis added a rapid 87.

Central made 303-8 declared in their first innings on day one and they went about adding to their small lead in the final session today.

Opener Jamie How (16) and Jeet Raval (5) were both sent on their way late in the day but Carl Cachopa and the returning Ross Taylor closed play with Central on 77-2 - 88 runs ahead with eight second-innings wickets in hand.

Cachopa will begin tomorrow on 33 while Taylor has 22 next to his name and Central will want to establish a lead of more than 300 so they can set Canterbury a tricky target at McLean Park, which is traditionally a good batting surface.

- Daniel Richardson of APNZ