Wizards are still in the hunt against ND

16:00, Dec 03 2012

Canterbury had the worst of an up-and-down day of Plunket Shield cricket but remain right in their four-day match with Northern Districts in Hamilton.

ND will resume this morning at 116-3 in their second innings and a lead of 130 runs after 21 wickets fell on day two, yesterday.

Starting their first innings at 125-2, ND were quickly rolled by a fired-up Canterbury side which bowled a better length than day one. Ryan McCone took 4-48 as ND were skittled for 200, but Canterbury then missed a golden opportunity to control, losing quick wickets to be 35-6.

Returning Black Cap Todd Astle and English import Gareth Andrew then added a crucial 97 for the seventh wicket and when Astle was dismissed for 53, Andrew carried on.

Having taken three top order wickets in the first innings, he then completed a fine double with a quickfire 89 off just 69 balls to help Canterbury reach 186.

"We just tried to take the game back to them," Andrew said.

"On a pitch like that you know there's a ball coming with your name on it so we tried to stop them bowling to their plan, played a few shots and tried to score quickly."

Andrew was run out by Graeme Aldridge who also picked up five wickets to become the joint-most successful bowler in Northern's history equalling Cliff Dickeson (282 wickets).

When Andrew trapped ND's skipper Brad Wilson early, it looked like the wickets would keep tumbling, but their rock Joey Yovich (48no) and former international James Marshall combined to add 109 for the second wicket. That partnership gave the home side the edge but Andrew said the Canterbury side were happy where they were, considering where they had been.