Otago grabbed control of their Plunket Shield match with Auckland on a see-sawing second day at Eden Park.
Otago scored 253 to establish a 57-run lead on the first innings and by stumps had the Aces 118-5.
That left Auckland just 61 runs ahead with five wickets left and a result looking a certainty if the erratic weather behaves.
The start of play was delayed by rain yesterday as Otago resumed at 86 without loss.
They quickly lost Hamish Rutherford to a run out and had hopes of a big first-innings advantage squashed by unheralded Dean Bartlett who produced career-best bowling figures to get Auckland back into the match.
The 25-year-old medium pacer took his first first-class five-wicket bag as the Volts faltered on the Eden Park Outer Oval.
Former Black Caps opener Aaron Redmond held the top order together with an accomplished 98.
But the 25-year-old Bartlett, in just his seventh match for the star-studded Auckland team, kept chipping away.
He removed former international Neil Broom (12) and the dangerous Simon Wells (38) before claiming the key wicket of Redmond.
And with Kyle Mills' help, he wrapped up the tail as the last six Auckland wickets fell for just 13 runs.
Bartlett finished with 5-53 off 18 overs and Mills took 2-60.
But all of Bartlett's good work was undone by another poor batting display by the Aces.
Ian Butler, the competition's leading wicket taker, removed both openers, Lou Vincent and Tim McIntosh.
And left-arm quick Neil Wagner, back from test duties, swung into action as well on the lively pitch, claiming 2-59.
The Aces will look for some more magic from the in-form Colin Munro who was unbeaten on 28.
AUCKLAND First Innings 196
OTAGO First Innings
AJ Redmond c C de Grandhomme b DJ Bartlett 98
HD Rutherford run out (MJ McClenaghan/GJ Hopkins) 70
MG Bracewell b BP Martin 17
NT Broom c GJ Hopkins b DJ Bartlett 12
NL McCullum c GJ Hopkins b MJ McClenaghan 0
SR Wells c C de Grandhomme b DJ Bartlett 38
DC de Boorder c C de Grandhomme b KD Mills 5
JDS Neesham not out 5
IG Butler b DJ Bartlett 0
N Wagner c GJ Hopkins b DJ Bartlett 2
JM McMillan c GJ Hopkins b KD Mills 0
Extras (lb 2, wd 1, nb 3) 6
Total (for 10 wickets, 97.0 overs) 253
Fall: 1-103 (HD Rutherford, 27.5), 2-140 (MG Bracewell, 46.3), 3-153 (NT Broom, 55.1), 4-158 (NL McCullum, 58.1), 5-240 (SR Wells, 87.2), 6-246 (DC de Boorder, 90.6), 7-246 (AJ Redmond, 91.2), 8-246 (IG Butler, 91.3), 9-252 (N Wagner, 95.4), 10-253 (JM McMillan, 96.6)
Bowling: MJ McClenaghan 21-7-63-1 (1w, KD Mills 22-9-60-2 (2nb), DJ Bartlett 18-5-53-5 (1nb), C de Grandhomme 8-3-22-0, BP Martin 28-8-53-1
AUCKLAND Second Innings
L Vincent c DC de Boorder b IG Butler 38
TG McIntosh c DC de Boorder b IG Butler 13
RA Young c DC de Boorder b JDS Neesham 24
C de Grandhomme b N Wagner 1
GJ Hopkins c NL McCullum b N Wagner 4
C Munro not out 28
Craig Cachopa not out 6
Extras (lb 0, nb 4) 4
Total (for 5 wickets, 29.0 overs) 118
Fall: 1-50 (L Vincent, 8.1), 2-61 (TG McIntosh, 12.6), 3-66 (C de Grandhomme, 15.1), 4-70 (GJ Hopkins, 15.6), 5-96 (RA Young, 20.6)
Bowling: N Wagner 8-0-59-2 (4nb), JM McMillan 6-2-9-0, IG Butler 7-1-31-2, JDS Neesham 5-0-14-1, NL McCullum 3-1-5-0
- © Fairfax NZ News
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