Auckland fight back after Canterbury post 405

05:35, Dec 17 2012

A unbeaten 127-run eighth wicket partnership by Auckland has stopped Canterbrury running away with their Plunket Shield Cricket match in Auckland today.

At stumps on day two, the Aces are 267-7, still 141 behind the Wizards' first innings total.

After Canterbury's English import Gareth Andrew scored 180 - his maiden first-class century -  Canterbury declared at 405-9.

Auckland struggled early as Andrew removed both Lou Vincent and Reece Young and at 5-58 were in all sorts of trouble.

Aces skipper Gareth Hopkins then added 76 with Auckland's own English import Phil Mustard (55), but when Mustard and Bruce Martin departed in quick succession, Auckland were still 268 behind Canterbury with only three wickets in hand.

But Hopkins carried on and reached stumps just four shy of his 15th first-class hundred. He and Kyle Mills have put on 127 for the eighth wicket and the Aces will resume tomorrow 141 behind, but in a far better position than they could have been.

Left-armer Ryan McCone is the best of the Canterbury bowlers taking 4-47.

Andrew and Canterbury No 10 Willie Lonsdale (20) had earlier added 97 for the ninth wicket for the Wizards before Tom Latham declared.

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