"Not bad for an old has-been" - those were the first words out of Mathew Sinclair's mouth, after he began the Plunket Shield season with yet another hundred.
Having come in with Central at 30-2, Sinclair went to stumps yesterday against Wellington at Napier's Nelson Park on 135 not out.
The 35th century of his first-class career, and 26th for his beloved Central Districts, took the Stags through to 301-3 at the close of play, after Wellington had won the toss.
"Overall, very, very happy and great to start the season off in the way that I intended," said Sinclair, who turns 37 next month.
The highest run-scorer in last summer's Plunket Shield, with 809, Sinclair's ability and desire continue to be a marvel.
"It all comes down to the mental side of the game and that's where I stand ahead of everyone else, I think.
"I'm able to get out there and assess the situation, and just play my innings," Sinclair said.
Yesterday's conditions required patience. The wicket was slightly uneven in pace and, with the ball often going sideways, Sinclair said it was a day in which he never felt completely in.
But with Wellington's bowlers not quite as consistent as they would have liked, there were enough freebies to enable him to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Sinclair brought his hundred up in 161 balls and, while satisfied, wasn't getting carried away about going past three figures once again.
"I know a lot of media think getting to a hundred is the ultimate but I hark back to [former Stags coach] Dermot Reeve who said: just see it as a figure, look beyond it and move on.
"You get so fixated with actually trying to get to a hundred sometimes and I've just tried to take that out of my mind."
Otago are in control of the other match in this round, which started on Saturday.
They made 383 yesterday, in reply to Canterbury's 297, and had reduced the Wizards to 2-3 by stumps last night.
SCOREBOARDS CENTRAL DISTRICTS v WELLINGTON At Nelson Park, Napier (day 1) CENTRAL DISTRICTS First innings J Raval c Ronchi b Hutchinson 11 J How c Ronchi b Gillespie 11 C Cachopa c Hutchinson b Woodcock 105 M Sinclair not out 135 K Noema-Barnett not out 21 Extras (b1, lb3, wd3, nb11) 18 Total (for 3 wkts, 97.0 overs) 301 Fall: 13, 30, 254. Bowling: M Gillespie 17-5-48-1 (1nb), A McKay 21-7-45-0 (1w), D Hutchinson 18-7-44-1 (2w, 5nb), J Ryder 12-3-37-0 (5nb), J Patel 17-1-77-0, L Woodcock 12-2-46-1. CANTERBURY v OTAGO At Mainpower Oval, Rangiora (day 2) CANTERBURY First innings G Worker c Neesham b Wagner 4 P Fulton c Redmond b Butler 29 S Stewart c de Boorder b Wagner 33 D Brownlie c de Boorder b Neesham 12 H Nicholls b Wagner 8 B Cachopa c Butler b Wells 31 G Andrew run out 14 T Astle b McMillan 95 B McCord c Redmond b Craig 17 W Lonsdale c Craig b Wagner 35 T Johnston not out 0 Extras (b4, lb4, wd2, nb9) 19 Total (81.1 overs) 297 Fall: 6, 44, 76, 94, 111, 143, 153, 217, 297, 297. Bowling: N Wagner 24-8-67-4 (1nb), JM McMillan 12.1-2-47-1, IG Butler 9-1-44-1 (7nb), SR Wells 15-2-68-1 (1w), JDS Neesham 6-0-28-1 (1w), MD Craig 15-4-35-1 (1nb). Second innings G Worker lbw b Craig 0 P Fulton not out 2 W Lonsdale b Wagner 0 S Stewart lbw b Wagner 0 Extras 0 Total (for 3 wkts, 3 overs) 2 Fall: 1, 2, 2. Bowling: N Wagner 2-1-1-2, M Craig 1-0-1-1. OTAGO First innings A Redmond lbw b Astle 133 H Rutherford b Johnston 91 M Bracewell c Cachopa b McCord 16 N Broom b Johnston 17 D de Boorder c sub (van Beek) b Lonsdale 15 S Wells c Cachopa b McCord 12 J Neesham b Johnston 0 M Craig lbw b Johnston 0 N Wagner c sub (van Beek) b Johnston 24 I Butler c Worker b Lonsdale 34 J McMillan not out 11 Extras (b 10, lb 8, wd 7, nb 5) 30 Total (110 overs) 383 Fall: 186, 253, 255, 282, 296, 296, 296, 313, 351, 383. Bowling: G Andrew 19-5-82-0, W Lonsdale 22-5-82-2 (1w, 1nb), T Johnston 41-12-105-5, T Astle 12-0-42-1, B McCord 16-3-54-2 (2w).
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