Brownlie bats out message to selectors

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 30/10/2012

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Dean Brownlie insists his 113 yesterday at Rangiora wasn't a message to the Black Caps selectors and was all about doing his best for the Canterbury cricket side.

Either way, it was a win-win as the hard-working right hander notched up his fifth first-class century, putting pressure on the incumbent test batsmen and, more importantly for the 28-year-old, helping his Canterbury side get back into their Plunket Shield match with Otago.

Starting the day at 2-3 and still 87 runs behind Otago's first innings of 383, the Wizards were in deep trouble.

But the absence of Neil Wagner due to a freak warm-up injury and James McMillan to an ankle problem, combined with Brownlie's five-hour vigil, made yesterday easily Canterbury's day.

They reached stumps last night at 307-8 and begin this morning with a lead of 221 and two established batsmen at the crease.

After 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), the tail wagged.

Todd Astle and debutant Ben McCord added 83 for the ninth wicket and will resume on 45 and 41 respectively.

For Brownlie, being left out of the Black Caps test squad to tour Sri Lanka hasn't changed his mindset.

"Whether I'm playing for [club side] Riccarton, Canterbury or New Zealand, I want to score as many runs as possible and help the side. I really enjoy playing for all three and for me it's about doing what I can for the team."

Off-spinner Mark Craig was the pick up the under-strength Otago attack, bowling 38 overs yesterday and taking 4-103, including the important wicket of Brownlie.

Otago only took 12 players to Rangiora and while Wagner was getting treatment and with McMillan off the field, 52-year-old coach Vaughn Johnson was called into action.

Wagner, treated after a wayward throw hit his cheekbone, said the injury would not keep him out of the Black Caps.

In the other match, Central Districts have the upper hand after day two against Wellington in Napier.

CD resumed yesterday at 301-3, but lost regular wickets before declaring at 383-8. Mathew Sinclair top scored with 143.

Wellington were cruising with the openers at the crease and put on 102 for the first wicket, but the dismissal of Michael Papps for 52 started a slide for the visitors who reached stumps at 254-8.

Jesse Ryder continued on from his strong pre-season form and will resume this morning at 84no from just 83 balls.

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