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Ken McClure led the fightback for Canterbury with an undefeated century on day three of the four-day warm-up match against Otago in Alexandra.
The host side dominated the opening two days but the 22-year-old right-hander provided the starch in the Canterbury batting line-up to help guide his side to 321 for seven at stumps.
McClure retired hurt on 115, having struck 12 fours and two sixes. He got a top edge on to his chin.
Canterbury has a slim lead of just 90 runs and some quick wickets this morning could set up an early finish.
Otago coach Rob Walter gave his side’s bowling effort a seven out of 10 but he was disappointed with the fielding.
"We put down four catches so I think the game would have been a lot different if we had held on to those," Walter said.
"But other than that it is a really good cricket wicket and we knew it would be harder this time around.
"As far as a warm-up goes, it has suited us perfectly. We needed a full day of cricket out there.
"It wasn’t our best day considering the chances we put down but it was a good day of cricket otherwise."
Walter said "a couple" of the dropped chances were regulation catches in the slips and the others were close in off a spinner, and "they either stick or they don’t".
"You never want to drop catches. We have work to do, there is no doubt about that. But we’ve got 10 days to spend a bit of time on our catching before the season starts and it will come right."
Pace bowler Michael Rae came off after 7.3 overs with a stiff back. Walter said it was more of a precautionary move and was nothing serious.
Spinner Mark Craig got through nearly 27 overs but was removed from the bowling crease for dishing up a second waist-high full toss.
The match will resume at the earlier time of 10am today.