Canterbury chase big total as rain threatens

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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Canterbury skipper Peter Fulton says his players are confident chasing down big totals and back themselves to score the 403 runs required to beat Northern Districts in Hamilton today.

The Wizards will resume on 22 without loss, needing to reach 425 from the remaining 105 overs to secure their second Plunket Shield win in a row.

A bad weather forecast makes a result unlikely.

However, Fulton said should they get on Seddon Park, the players were confident they could pile more woe on the bottom-of-the-table Northern side.

"We chased down 300 in 60 overs last week, so we know we can chase and we're pretty confident doing that," he said.

Fulton would resume on eight while George Worker was on 14 after stumps were pulled 13 overs early because of rain.

Earlier, the wicket had flattened out. The same pitch that aided 21 day-two wickets, was responsible for just two yesterday. Northern opener Joey Yovich continued his rich run of form with his second century of the season.

Yovich and Daryl Mitchell added 147 for the fourth wicket before Ryan McCone (2-43) nicked out Mitchell for 73. Yovich also fell to McCone victim, trapped in front for 128. From there, B J Watling and Corey Anderson added an unbeaten 139 for the sixth wicket before Northern declared at 410 for five.

"It definitely flattened out," Fulton said of the wicket. "But I thought we toiled away pretty well. If we'd had a bit more luck just after lunch, we might have been able to bowl them out."

That bit of luck referred to several near misses and a dropped chance early in Watling's innings.

"I thought Ryan McCone and Gareth Andrew bowled very well for us," Fulton said.

"They've both bowled a lot of overs in this game and on a short break after we only batted 45 overs, so they've done really well."

Meanwhile, Otago chased down their 218-run target to beat Auckland at Eden Park yesterday. After Auckland had scored 274 in their second innings, on the back of the in-form Colin Munro scoring 118, Otago were reeling at 169 for seven. However, Jimmy Neesham and Neil Wagner put on 54 to seal Otago's second outright win.

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