Canterbury batsman stars with ball

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 13:26 20/02/2013
Shanan Stewart
Photosport
NEW CALLING: Better known for his efforts with the bat, Shanan Stewart became an unlikely hero for Canterbury with the ball in their Plunket Shield match against Auckland.

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Batsman Shanan Stewart proved an unlikely bowling hero in the first session of Canterbury's Plunket Shield match with Auckland today, at Hagley Oval, taking his maiden five wicket bag. 

Stewart was brought to the crease with Auckland at 56-1, but in 7.1 overs wrecked the visitors' top order and reduced them to 87-6.

His gentle right-arm medium pacers returned the 30-year-old former Black Caps batsman the extraordinary figures of 5-7 from 7.1 overs. 

The last time Canterbury played at Hagley Oval he took his then best figures of 3-17.

After starting with an innocuous looking maiden today, Stewart ripped the Auckland order apart with his second over.

He had Auckland opener Michael Barry (27) caught behind with his first ball, then bowled Craig Cachopa with his next.

In-form Auckland skipper Gareth Hopkins saw out three balls, but was bowled with his fourth helping Stewart complete the triple wicket maiden.

The 30-year-old then removed Auckland's top scorer Anaru Kitchen (41), caught by wicketkeeper Tom Latham down the legside before completing his five wicket bag by trapping Michael Guptill-Bunce on the verge of lunch. 

Stewart, who made his first-class debut 11 years ago had taken just five wickets at this level before this season. In two matches at Hagley he now has nine wickets for just 56 runs. 

Auckland had Colin de Grandhomme (4no) and Bruce Martin at the crease at lunch.

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