Joseph Yovich scored a century but Plunket Shield holders Northern Districts were struggling in their match against Auckland on Eden Park's Outer Oval today.
Opening batsman Yovich hit 106 as the Knights were dismissed for 208 on day one of the four-day match.
By stumps the Aces were well placed at 40 without loss.
Yovich showed his team mates how it could be done as he posted his fifth first class century.
It was a patient effort, coming off 252 balls in just over five hours at the crease. He was prepared to punish the loose balls though, hitting 16 fours and one six.
Only four other batsmen got into double figures and James Marshall's 24 was the next best effort.
The chief destroyer for the Aces was former Knights bowler Bruce Martin. The left-arm spinner collected 4-43 off 16.1 overs.
Auckland negotiated 14 overs at the end of the day without any problems and had reduced the deficit to 168 by stumps.
Old heads Tim McIntosh (14) and Lou Vincent (25) looked comfortable.
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