This second round of this season’s Plunket Shield didn’t have quite the drama of last week; no records that had stood for over 130 years were broken, but there was still enough to make you take notice.
Surprise leaders Wellington had another innings victory inside three days. It’s been a rocking start, but how will they go when they have to play on a Thursday?
Central Districts were as dominant in accounting for cellar-dwellers Auckland by 256 runs.
The third match in Rangiora was a ripper; a classic ebbs and flows encounter which is when long-form cricket is at its best. The home side held on to win by 8 runs.
Remember Jesse Ryder? November in New Zealand; Guy Fawkes Day and articles like this. His first game of the season produced knocks of 175 and 106* which gives him a season average bettered only by Michael Papps.
Old family friend Doug Bracewell scored 97, and Dane Cleaver made a quick-fire 88 in the second innings.
Last week Stephen Murdoch sent seven hours sitting in the shed waiting for Papps and Woodcock to finish an extended open wicket training session. He then made a duck.
This week he compiled 114.
Remember Anton Devcich? He hinted that he should possibly be in India at the moment by knocking up 116 at faster than a run a ball.
The other score worthy of comment were from Canterbury’s opening bowler Daniel Sams (Australian to save you a Google) on debut scoring 88 (6 * sixes)
Keep an eye on Canterbury’s Blake Coburn. He’s still only 21 and he’s… a left-arm wrist spinner. And New Zealand doesn’t usually produce left-arm wrist spinners.
In his second first class game he took 7/64 in a match winning performance. He also channelled Ollie Newton from last week in taking three wickets in an over.
Lockie Ferguson picked up one of the other five wicket bags of the round (5/129) before being invalided out of the match. That is not quite as alarming as it first sounds; he picked up an injury to his hand while batting.
Tim Johnston (Cant) got a career best of 5/79.
This was the latest edition in a new series of Plunket Shield wraps. Given the tournament has no radio coverage anymore someone has to do it. However, it is almost exclusively done by reading scoreboards and NZC Press Releases. If you happen to go to any of the matches and have some observations to make please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback. Cheers