Todd Astle bags 14 wickets in stylish finish

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014

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Legspinner Todd Astle wrote himself into the record books as Canterbury completed their Plunket Shield campaign in style, beating Central Districts by nine wickets yesterday.

The Wizards had already clinched the four-day competition before their final round game at Napier's McLean Park, but ended with an emphatic exclamation mark.

Astle was the star on the final day of the match, taking 6-86 as Central Districts were dismissed for 182 in their second innings.

The 27-year-old finished with career-best figures of 14-234 for the match after grabbing 8-148 in the first innings.

He became just the 14th player to take 14 wickets in a New Zealand first class match and the fifth Cantabrian.

The last time a Canterbury bowler took 14 or more wickets in a match was 94 years ago.

Canterbury were presented with the Plunket Shield after the game. They last won the four-day title in 2010-2011.

Rob Nicol chimed in with two wickets for Canterbury in the second innings with Ryan McCone and Andrew Ellis claiming one apiece.

Canterbury struck regularly in CD's second dig at bat with first innings centurion Kruger van Wyk top scoring with 38.

Canterbury held a 179-run first innings advantage over CD, which left them just four runs to chase down.

Tom Latham, who plundered the CD bowlers for 261 runs in the first innings, was stumped for a third-ball duck in the run chase.

Latham finished the Plunket Shield season with 948 runs - the second highest in a first class summer for Canterbury behind Michael Papps, who scored 1005 at an average of 91, in the 2006-07 season.

Canterbury's attention now turns to the one-day competition, which begins against Otago at Timaru's Aorangi Oval on Sunday.

In the other Plunket Shield game yesterday, Wellington's disappointing campaign ended with a 106-run loss to Auckland at Eden Park's Outer Oval. That result saw Auckland leapfrog Wellington into third place in the final standings.

Promising young Wellington batsman Tom Blundell scored his second first class hundred of the season, hitting 104, as his side fell short in their pursuit of 425.

Auckland's Matt Quinn was the best of his team's bowlers, taking 4-63, while spinner Bruce Martin took 3-120.

Otago beat Northern Districts by four wickets inside three days in Dunedin in the other game of the round.

AT A GLANCE

Final Plunket Shield points: Canterbury 106, Otago 86, Auckland 79, Wellington 72, Central Districts 70, Northern Districts 58 Best first class bowling by a Cantabrian in a match: 15-60 S Callaway v Hawke's Bay Napier 1903-04 15-168 D McBeath v Auckland Chch 1918-19 14-59 R Read v Southland Invercargill 1920-21 14-107 W Robertson v Auckland Chch 1893-94 14-234 T Astle v CD Napier 2013-14 

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- Fairfax Media

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