Central Districts will look to mop up the Otago tail in quick time this morning then knock off the required runs to claim outright points in their Plunket Shield cricket match in Napier.
It was always going to be a tough day for Otago on day three of the four-day match yesterday.
Resuming at 232-9 in their first innings chasing Central's mammoth 476, Otago's Ian Butler (53no) and Blair Soper (0no) had the job of trying to postpone the inevitable. They added another 25 runs before Soper was dismissed without scoring.
Forced to follow on, Otago openers Aaron Redmond and Hamish Rutherford started promisingly, putting on 120 for the first wicket before Rutherford went for 55. Two runs later, Redmond was on his way back to the pavilion for 57 and Otago's task of saving the match skyrocketed.
With some stubborn batting they made it through to 226-8 at stumps to lead by seven. But with only two wickets in hand, the game is all but decided and it will take a miracle - or bad weather - to deny Central an outright win.
Meanwhile, Auckland pairing Colin Munro and Craig Cachopa launched a record batting onslaught against Wellington at Eden Park in Auckland yesterday.
Munro hit an unbeaten 269 and Cachopa's maiden first-class century, 166, boosted Auckland's first innings to 658-9.
It was the fifth-highest Plunket Shield total, the highest scored against Wellington and the ninth-highest in any New Zealand first-class match.
It left Wellington fighting to avoid defeat on the fourth day today, 145-2 in their second innings and still trailing by 133.
- © Fairfax NZ News