Tom Latham on fire, closes in on his best innings

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 21/12/2013
Tom Latham
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
LETTING IT GO: Tom Latham lets a ball go outside off-stump during his innings of 137 not out of day one of Canterbury's Plunket Shield match against Wellington.

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Tom Latham sent the New Zealand cricket selectors a strong message just days after being dumped from the Black Caps ODI team.

Latham, 21, scored 137 as Canterbury dominated day one of their top-of-the-table Plunket Shield match with Wellington in the capital, yesterday.

Two late wickets took a coat of gloss off the hard work done earlier by Latham, Henry Nicholls (70) and Shanan Stewart (60), but Canterbury reached stumps at 292-5 at Karori Park.

Latham was this week left out of the New Zealand ODI team to play the West Indies despite being in good domestic form and having averaged 49.50 in the side's last series in Sri Lanka, last month.

He yesterday batted six hours and 37 minutes minutes, faced 276 balls, hit 14 fours and two sixes and was to resume this morning just eight runs short of his highest first-class score.

He's taken a real liking to the Wellington bowling this season; he scored 92 and 65 against their former international-laden bowling attack earlier in the season and now averages 60 against Wellington in seven first-class matches.

Latham and Nicholls set about resurrecting the Canterbury innings after they lost two quick wickets after being sent in.

Opener Rob Nicol's horror run continues with the former international's run list this first-class season looking like this: 0, 0, 0, 2, 1.

Latham and Nicholls added 137 for the third wicket before Latham and Stewart put on a further 133 for the fourth.

Left-armer Andy McKay wrestled back some late momentum for the home side by trapping Stewart in front with the first ball of the day's penultimate over, then dismissed Brad Cachopa off the last ball of the same over.

Latham wasn't the only opener to push for an international recall yesterday.

Northern Districts' Daniel Flynn also batted the entire day as his side completely dominated. After being sent in by Auckland at Eden Park's outer oval, ND reached stumps at 315-2 with Flynn unbeaten on 162.

Joe Carter, who scored 81 last week against Canterbury, at Hagley Oval, scored 95 and put on 212 for the second wicket with Flynn.

■ In Dunedin, Otago bowled Central Districts out for 255 on day one and went to stumps at 30-2. Jesse Ryder was Otago's most successful bowler taking 3-32 from 11 overs while Jacob Duffy took 3-50.

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