Southee blasts maiden ton in first-class double

AARON GOILE
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Tim Southee
Reuters
ALL ROUND PERFORMANCE: Tim Southee blasted 156 off 130 balls and then took four wickets for Northern Districts on day one against Wellington.

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He has had some great moments with the Black Caps, but yesterday's effort for Northern Districts is something Tim Southee says he will remember for a long time.

The 24-year-old struck his maiden first-class century then took four quick wickets to put the Northern Knights in a dominant position after day one of their Plunket Shield four-day match against the Wellington Firebirds in the capital.

Southee rescued ND from another troubling first-innings position to help them post 403-8 declared at Karori Park, before he heaped more misery on Wellington with the ball to leave the home side in tatters at 32-4 heading into today - which is set to be threatened by rain.

Sitting at the bottom of the standings and in desperate need of victories to defend their title, the Knights looked to have again blown it after winning the toss and batting.

But coming in at 161-6, Southee blasted 156 off just 130 balls, belting 18 fours and six sixes in his two-and-a-half-hour stay.

It was Southee's highest first-class score - his previous best being the 77 not out he scored off 40 balls on test debut.

Southee, who is missing the Black Caps' Twenty20 series in South Africa because of the impending birth of his first child, and Daryl Mitchell put on 166 for the seventh wicket - which is an ND record against all teams.

Going to tea at 280-6, the pair continued on after the break, with Southee reaching his ton off 88 deliveries.

"It's something that I wanted to get under my belt and it's pleasing to get that one out of the way," Southee said of his maiden century.

"Hopefully I can get a few more and not have to wait so long to get another one."

Touted as a potential international all-rounder, Southee has been intent on improving his batting during the past couple of years and said he was looking to concentrate more on the ball that was bowled and not do anything too erratic.

But that doesn't mean losing his natural game and going into his shell - as he illustrated yesterday.

"I'm going to be aggressive when I bat no matter what so I think it's just about still being aggressive but not reckless. And that goes back to just playing each ball on its merits but still hitting the ball if it's there to be hit.

"Hopefully this isn't just a one off, it's something that will become more consistent."

Mitchell succumbed for 43, with Firebirds wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi equalling the Wellington record for catches in a first class innings, with six snares.

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After passing three figures, Southee hit a further eight fours and a six before being the eighth man out, with the score at 396.

ND continued on to claim their maximum four batting points for surpassing 400, before declaring.

Then, with the hosts forced to face a tricky period before stumps, Southee continued to shine, remarkably picking up four wickets - the last of which was the prized scalp of Jesse Ryder, who was bowled second ball, dragging one onto his stumps.

Earlier, ND had threatened to slump to yet another below par first innings total.

Captain Brad Wilson's dreadful run continued as he was out for one.

The opener's Plunket Shield contributions this season now read: 10, 54, 14, 20, 8, 1, 7, 1, 1.

In Auckland, Canterbury all-rounder Gareth Andrew blasted 180 not out then removed Lou Vincent and Reece Young early in the hosts' turn at bat.

At stumps on day two at Eden Park's outer oval, Auckland were 264-7, with Gareth Hopkins poised on 96, in reply to Canterbury's 405-9 declared.

In Dunedin on a rain-shortened opening day, Otago were 181-4 against Central Districts with all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate 88 not out.

- Waikato

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