Daniel Flynn was tempted to bowl first at Eden Park's Outer Oval yesterday.
Luckily for him, he lost the toss and he was instead strapping on the pads, because the Northern Knights skipper could not have wished for a better day.
Opening the batting, Flynn carted the Auckland bowlers all around the ground to notch his 15th first-class century and drive ND into a dominant position in their fifth-round Plunket Shield match.
The visitors went to stumps at 315-2, with Flynn unbeaten on 162, having hit 20 fours and two sixes in his 281-ball stay. "It's a pretty good wicket once you get yourself in," Flynn said.
"It had a tinge of green in it. I was undecided if I won the toss as well, but as it turned out it was a good one to lose in the end. With the new ball there was always going to be little bit there, but the sun was out and it flattened out pretty quickly . . . We just went out and played pretty positively and got off to a reasonably good start."
After Brad Wilson was dismissed for 18, 28-year-old former Black Cap Flynn shared in a whopping 212-run partnership for the second wicket with Joe Carter (95), who fell agonisingly short of a maiden first-class ton in his fourth match. Carter, who turned 21 during the week, hit 16 fours in his 181-ball stay, backing up his last knock of 81 in the loss to Canterbury. With Carter out in the 73rd over as Colin de Grandhomme's second scalp, Flynn saw the SkyCity Knights through to stumps, along with Daryl Mitchell, who is 26 not out.
The Knights have secured two batting bonus points, which they have found fairly tough to come by this season. With 97 overs gone, there are 13 more until the bonus points are no longer up for grabs.
ND will be eyeing another one at 350 and an unlikely maximum fourth point at 400, while also wanting to deny the bottom-of-the-table Aces bowling points, with their first to be banked at three wickets. "Obviously we've got to start again in the morning, get a solid start, and then we can go from there," Flynn said of the plan.
Debutant Bharat Popli will come in at six, with a sensational platform already laid. Seamer Anurag Verma was a late withdrawal from the Knights due to a shoulder injury, with Jono Hickey made 12th man.
Meanwhile, there was another unbeaten century from an opener yesterday, with Canterbury's Tom Latham posting his third first-class ton.
The 21-year-old left-hander stroked 137 not out from 276 balls in getting his top-of-the-table side to 292-5 against hosts Wellington at Karori Park.
And in Dunedin, Jesse Ryder took 3-32 off 11 overs at University Oval as the hosts bowled Central Districts out for 255.
- Waikato Times
Should the NZ selectors pick Jesse Ryder if he's available?