A swashbuckling century by promising batsman Craig Cachopa highlighted the second day of play in the Plunket Shield clash between Auckland and Central Districts at the Eden Park Outer Oval yesterday.
Cachopa scored 145 in Auckland's first-innings total of 348 off 100.5 overs, which came in response to Central's first-day total of 233.
It was Cachopa's third first-class century in his ninth match, increasing his average to 62.67.
The 21-year-old South Africa-born batsman came to the crease with his side slightly shaky at 62-2, but got into his work at an impressive clip.
Cachopa combined with Michael Guptill-Bunce (47), first cousin of the New Zealand test opener, before putting together a 103-run fourth-wicket stand with skipper Gareth Hopkins (32).
Cachopa's dismissal sparked an Auckland collapse, with six wickets falling for 63 runs.
Only middle-order batsman Colin de Grandhomme (28), and off-spinner Bruce Martin (22) offered any further resistance.
Young seamer Bevan Small took career-best figures of 5-61 off 18.5 overs. Cachopa's older brother, Carl, was miserly with the ball for the visitors, conceding 26 runs off his 14 overs.
Central Districts trailed by eight runs at stumps yesterday, ending the day at 107 without loss.
Former Black Cap Jamie How (55) and ex-Auckland representative Jeet Raval (52) were unbeaten.
At the Basin Reserve, Wellington dominated Canterbury but their four-pronged pace attack couldn't deliver the knockout blow.
The honours were relatively even as Canterbury posted 329-9 declared, and Wellington openers Josh Brodie and Michael Papps negotiated two overs without incident in reply.
Canterbury captain Peter Fulton, hoping to unseat Martin Guptill from his test opener's berth, made a handy statement with 94 off 107 balls before they lost 7-70.
Canterbury looked ill at 201-7 but there was wag in the tail, as Brent Findlay and Ryan McCone added 70, then McCone and No 11 Tim Johnston added an unbeaten 55 before Fulton declared.
In Queenstown, a rejuvenated Ian Butler took 6-65 for high-flying Otago as they skittled Northern Districts for 217 on day one.
In reply, Otago were looking good at 135-2, with in-form opener Hamish Rutherford 82 not out.
- Taranaki Daily News
What name would you like to see the Taranaki rugby team known as next year?Related story: Change on cards for our team - no bull