Import Gareth Andrew stars with bat and ball

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Gareth Andrew
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ
STAR IMPORT: Gareth Andrew in action for Canterbury.

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Gareth Andrew's stocks with the Canterbury Wizards just keep rising.

He failed to impress in his first Plunket Shield match this season but any doubts over his ability have been erased.

Andrew started day two of the Wizards' match with the Auckland Aces at Eden Park unbeaten on 126, and yesterday extended that to 180 not out, becoming the highest scorer batting at No 8 in New Zealand domestic cricket.

It helped his side reach 405-9 before new captain Tom Latham declared.

Andrew, 28, preferred to talk about the team's efforts than his own and heaped praise on Dean Brownlie, Todd Astle then Willie Lonsdale with whom he shared 70, 119 and 97-run partnerships.

"I've had 80s and 90s before but have always run out of partners. That was great about this [team's] innings, it was a real team effort and set us up well," Andrew said.

"He hits the ball so cleanly and all around the wicket so it's pretty hard to defend," Latham said of Andrew.

"From where we were at lunch on [day one] at 79-5, I think we're in a great position now."

After batting for 209 balls and 281 minutes, Andrew was then thrown the new ball and delivered immediately.

Andrew removed Auckland opener Lou Vincent third ball and picked up Reece Young soon after.

Latham joked: "He was obviously warmed up, so it would have been rude not to give him the new ball."

Auckland struggled to 5-58, but the experienced old head of Gareth Hopkins kept the Aces in the match and they will resume this morning at 264-7 with Hopkins on 96 and No 9 Kyle Mills 61 not out.

They've already added 127 for the eighth wicket but Latham said he was still "very happy" with the state of the game.

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