Flynn shines as Knights have a good day

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2013

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Another bid for a test spot by Daniel Flynn and a bold batting display signalled a good day for the Northern Knights in Whangarei yesterday.

Flynn made 102 as the Knights reached 344-6 at stumps on day two of their penultimate round Plunket Shield match at Cobham Oval against the Wellington Firebirds.

It was Flynn's 13th century for Northern Districts, pushing him further ahead as the province's most prolific century-maker and helping his hopes of selection for the Black Caps in their test series starting against England next month.

With captain Brendon McCullum expected to move down the order, there is set to be a vacancy as opener - assuming Martin Guptill keeps his spot after a horror series in South Africa - with Flynn and Peter Fulton the chief contenders.

It's understood Fulton, who was lined up to play the tests as opener against the Proteas before injury ruled him out, has the inside running but Flynn, who struggled in the middle order against the Proteas, continues to rack up Plunket Shield runs.

There's been little to divide the two during the first-class domestic season - Flynn has 567 runs at 56.70 with three tons, while Fulton - who made 1 and 5 in Canterbury's current match against Otago - has tallied 785 runs in 15 innings at 52.33 while also compiling three centuries.

"He batted beautifully - he timed the ball fantastically well," SkyCity Knights coach Grant Bradburn said of the left-hander.

The Knights bowled Wellington out for 423 in the first over yesterday before beginning their pursuit of 400 runs within 110 overs to give them maximum batting points to keep their slim hopes of defending their shield total alive.

Daryl Mitchell provided the stable spine of the innings with an unbeaten 71 from 181 balls, registering his sixth half-century of his shield season to date.

The impetus came from the returning duo of Corey Anderson (59 off 81 balls) and Tim Southee (41 not out off 22 balls) to leave the Knights needing 56 more runs today in 14 overs to claim maximum first innings points.

"Corey played superbly well and really grabbed the momentum and allowed Daryl to continue. Tim rode his luck a little but if we can push on tomorrow it gives us a chance," Bradburn said.

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- Waikato

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