Flynn heads to test with share of centuries record

A rampaging Daniel Flynn signed off from his Northern Knights duties this season with a record-equalling century as he helped push his side closer to the Plunket Shield title yesterday.

The recalled Black Caps batsman made a punishing unbeaten 123 for the Knights against the Auckland Aces in Auckland – his 10th century for Northern Districts – as the visitors declared at 351-8 midway through day three of the rain-interrupted four-day clash.

That drew Flynn level with star import Graeme Hick as the most prolific century-maker in ND history and was his third in as many shield matches.

Former England test player Hick had a phenomenal stint with ND between 1987-89, making 2055 runs, including those 10 tons, in 17 matches at a staggering average of 79.03.

The Knights, 15 points clear at the top of the shield table at the start of this penultimate round, grabbed three batting points and then reduced the hosts to 39-1 before rain again brought an early stumps, while second-placed Auckland took three bowling points.

Flynn resumed yesterday at 68 not out after no play was possible on day two, and quickly laid siege to the home team's bowling. He added 55 off just 45 balls, featuring four sixes and four fours, and hammered five sixes and 11 fours in total during his 164-ball, 234-minute knock.

The 26-year-old left the Knights camp last night along with team-mate Trent Boult to join the Black Caps in preparation for the third and final test in the series starting against South Africa in Wellington on Friday, with Daryl Mitchell and Brent Arnel drafted into the playing XI to replace them.

In his last five innings, Flynn has scored 113 not out, 47, 68, 136 and 123 not out at an average of 162.33.

With a draw likely, the Knights are ideally placed to seal the title in their final match.

Their hopes of claiming the crown took a boost when day three of the match between Wellington Firebirds and Central Stags was rained out in Wellington yesterday. The two sides started the ninth round 18 and 20 points respectively behind the Knights and after Wellington made 501-6 declared on day one, there appears little room available for either side to manufacture the chance of an outright win even if the weather allows the final day's play.

The Knights finish their first-class season away to Central, starting in Napier on Monday.