Central Districts pile on the runs
Central Districts openers Jamie How and Jeet Raval pushed their test credentials, as their side piled on the runs against Auckland in their Plunket Shield clash yesterday.
How (124) and Raval (77) put on 173 for the first wicket at the Eden Park Outer Oval, as the Stags cruised to 386 for 6 at stumps on day three of the match, 271 runs ahead of their hosts.
The partnership broke the former record for highest opening stand by Central Districts against Auckland, set by Campbell Smith and Scott Briasco in New Plymouth in 1985.
Beginning the day at 107 for 0, the pair continued to assert themselves at the wicket, with both How, a former Black Cap, and Raval, a former Auckland representative, playing a number of glorious shots around the ground.
Raval would fall first, caught by Tim McIntosh off off-spinner Bruce Martin, before his partner fell 59 runs later, holing out to a substitute fielder on the boundary, also off Martin.
Carl Cachopa (53) took the crease and battled it out for Central Districts, hitting eight boundaries in his 123-ball knock before veteran seamer Michael Bates had him clean bowled.
Cachopa’s was the first of three wickets Bates would claim for Auckland in the space of just 12 runs, to reduce Central to 295 for 5.
Recalled Black Caps former skipper Ross Taylor was one of the three, feathering a nippy Chris Martin delivery behind to Auckland captain Gareth Hopkins when he was on 21.
Matt Sinclair (27) came and went, before former test wicket-keeper Kruger van Wyk (31) and seamer Doug Bracewell (36) combined to put on an unbeaten 62 by the time stumps were pulled.
On the second to last day of the match, the Auckland attack worked hard without any real reward; Bates’ pre-tea spell being the most dangerous period from any of the hosts’ bowlers.
Bates finished up with 3 for 71 off his 26 overs, while veteran seamer Martin ended with 1 for 87 off his 25 overs.
Off-spinner Martin had the toughest day in the office - toiling hard for his 2 for 136 off 56 long overs.