Canterbury battle back against Otago
A Dean Brownlie century and some late innings rallying has batted Canterbury back into their Plunket Shield cricket match with Otago.
Unwanted test player Brownlie scored 113 as Canterbury reached 307-8 at stumps after starting the day in big trouble at 2-3.
Canterbury now lead by 221, but Rangiora's Mainpower Oval pitch has few demons in it and if Otago can knock off the last two wickets early tomorrow morning, they will still back themselves to win the season opener.
A stray ball Otago's warm-up hit spearhead Neil Wagner in the face and the Black Cap only bowled nine balls all day.
Otago's bowling stocks took a further hit when James McMillan broke down too leaving the remaining four bowlers plenty of work to do on a reasonably unresponsive wicket.
Otago only brought 12 players to Rangiora and coach Vaughn Johnson was forced to don the whites for about an hour after lunch.
Otago's ground fielding hadn't been great, but 52-year-old Johnson made no mistakes when he was called upon.
With no Wagner or McMillan, Canterbury should perhaps feel they could have done better today, but having started in dire straits, a lead of more than 200 means they at least now have a chance in this match.
Brownlie's 113 - his fifth first class hundred and third at Rangiora - came from 231 balls and took a shade over five hours.
He hit 13 boundaries and until he chipped a ball back to Otago's hard working offspinner Mark Craig, his innings had been one of self control and clever batting.
Brownlie featured in a 75 run fifth wicket partnership with Henry Nicholls (41) and a 77 run stand for the sixth wicket with Brad Cachopa (35).
Todd Astle and debutant Ben McCord reached stumps as Canterbury's not out batsmen having already added 83 for the ninth wicket.
Astle, who scored 95 in the first innings, will resume tomorrow on 45 while McCord was unbeaten on 41.
Craig was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-103 from 39 overs while Jimmy Neesham and Ian Butler took a wicket each today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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