Half centuries keep ND in the battle
Half centuries by Daryl Mitchell and James Marshall are helping keep Northern Districts in the fight on day one of their final round Plunket Shield cricket match against Central Districts at Nelson's Saxton Oval today.
Mitchell's 72-run effort provided the initial thrust, while a resilient Marshall returned to the crease after an early injury scare to score 54 runs and bring some late momentum to Northern's innings of 267 off 85.4 overs.
Mitchell batted for a pinch over four hours, faced 153 balls and hit just five boundaries. Yet his patient innings came to a surprisingly tame end when he fended at a ball from Andrew Lamb outside his offstump and offered a simple catch to Matt Sinclair at first slip in the day's final session.
He'd been part of a dogged 87-run fifth wicket partnership with first class debutant Cameron Fletcher, but their stand came to an abrupt end just before the tea break when Fletcher was hopelessly run out for 34.
He'd just survived an lbw appeal from legspinner Tarun Nethula when he saw Mitchell advancing down the pitch in search of a single. Seniority prevailed, Fletcher ultimately sacrificing his wicket by almost the length of the pitch.
Earlier, Joe Yovich had been the first to go, caught at slip off Ben Wheeler for 17 with the total at 34 before fellow opener Daniel Flynn went four runs later, trapped lbw by Doug Bracewell for 14.
Brad Wilson and Daryl Mitchell carried the score through to 56 when Wilson pulled Andrew Mathieson innocuously to square leg for 17. A confident Corey Anderson helped Mitchell take Northern through to 99 for 3 at lunch.
But Mathieson achieved the breakthrough in the second over after lunch when he bowled Anderson for 27 at 101-4.
Marshall's innings had initially been cut short when he took a full toss from Mathieson flush on his left arm, forcing him from the field with his score on just six in the 37th over. He returned following Fletcher's unfortunate demise to add a further 48 runs off 81 balls, hitting six boundaries, before he was bowled by Bracewell at 267-8.
Wheeler ended the innings with two wickets in the 86th over to finish with 3-35, Bracewell taking 2-53 and Mathieson 2-42.
Central had moved comfortably through to 46 without loss in reply at stumps with Jeet Raval unbeaten on 27 and Jamie How on 17.
The Nelson Mail