ND fight back with big opening partnership

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 20:58 05/11/2012

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A century partnership for the opening wicket put the Northern Knights back close to parity with the Otago Volts midway through their Plunket Shield match in Hamilton.

However, they lost both openers before stumps on day two at Seddon Park to be 120/2, giving them a lead of 26 with eight second innings wickets in hand.

Openers Brad Wilson (54) and Joey Yovich (50) showed sound technique against a visiting pace attack led by Neil Wagner to drag them back into the contest after Otago showed similar resolve in the first two sessions of day two to fight back from a perilous situation.

Knights captain Wilson fell in the last over of the day while Yovich perished in the over after he brought up his half-century and ND's century partnership for the first wicket, with the pair putting on 103 in 32.3 overs on a drying wicket.

Earlier, Otago allrounder Jimmy Neesham helped his side recover from a jam by registering his maiden first-class century to give them what seemed to be a handy first innings advantage over the hosts.

The 23-year-old, whose previous best tally at this level was 67 with an average of 15.52, struck 20 boundaries in his 168-ball 124 to help Otago's first innings tally reach 298 in reply to Northern's 204.

Neesham never looked overly concerned with the precarious situation his side was in when resuming at 71-5 this morning and garnered his runs at an impressive clip.

He was quick to punish anything too wide, loose or full, taking just 122 balls to reach his ton.

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Ian Butler, possibly stung by being placed at No 10 in the order, gave Otago a late fillip by smacking a rapid half-century to further sway the game Otago's way.

The former Northern Districts pace bowler clobbered four sixes and six fours in his 49-ball 61 that just failed to give the Volts another batting point as he and Jacob Duffy, who made just 2, added 55 for the last wicket.

Brent Arnel took 5-74 off 26 overs for the Knights. It was his eighth five-wicket bag in first-class cricket and due reward for being the standout seamer.

He also had two vociferous appeals for lbw turned down early in the first session against de Boorder and Neesham that allowed the visitors to escape from trouble.

Knights seamer Tony Goodin grabbed his maiden first-class wicket on debut when Wagner was snared at slip by Wilson, but he later suffered at the hands of Butler to end with 1-66 off 16 overs while rookie leg spinner Ish Sodhi struggled on debut, conceding 34 off just four overs.

SCOREBOARD

NORTHERN KNIGHTS First Innings 204

NORTHERN KNIGHTS Second Innings
BS Wilson c MD Craig b IG Butler 54
JAF Yovich c DC de Boorder b JDS Neesham 50
JAH Marshall not out 10
Extras (lb 6, nb 0) 6
Total (for 2 wickets, 40.1 overs) 120

Fall: 1-103 (JAF Yovich, 32.3), 2-120 (BS Wilson, 40.1)

Bowling: N Wagner 15-5-29-0, JA Duffy 5-1-27-0, IG Butler 10.1-2-31-1, JDS Neesham 10-3-27-1

OTAGO VOLTS First Innings (71/5 overnight)

AJ Redmond c AJ Wheater b BJ Arnel 0
HD Rutherford b JD Baker 14
MG Bracewell b BJ Arnel 6
NT Broom b BJ Arnel 13
DJ Broom c JAF Yovich b BJ Arnel 2
DC de Boorder c BS Wilson b AP Devcich 37
JDS Neesham b CJ Anderson 124
MD Craig b BJ Arnel 1
N Wagner c BS Wilson b TC Goodin 23
IG Butler not out 61
JA Duffy lbw b AP Devcich 2
Extras (lb 12, wd 3, nb 0) 15
Total (for 10 wickets, 79.1 overs) 298

Fall: 1-6 (AJ Redmond, 2.1), 2-20 (MG Bracewell, 8.4), 3-20 (HD Rutherford, 9.1), 4-31 (DJ Broom, 12.5), 5-42 (NT Broom, 16.4), 6-179 (DC de Boorder, 52.5), 7-180 (MD Craig, 53.1), 8-217 (N Wagner, 65.1), 9-243 (JDS Neesham, 70.4), 10-298 (JA Duffy, 79.1)

Bowling: BJ Arnel 26-8-74-5 (1w, JD Baker 20-4-68-1 (1w, TC Goodin 16-3-66-1, CJ Anderson 11-3-40-1 (1w, IS Sodhi 4-0-34-0, AP Devcich 2.1-0-4-2

- Fairfax Media

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