Canterbury opener Chad Bowes struck his third first class century to guide his team to an emphatic seven-wicket win against Wellington at the Basin Reserve on Wednesday.
Needing 324 to win on the final day, Bowes whacked 149 to get his team across the line with 10 overs to spare.
The win propelled Canterbury to the top of the Plunket Shield standings with four rounds to play, the next being an experimental day-night match for each of the teams.
Bowes, whose highest first class score is 155, clobbered 25 fours and a six during his 187-ball innings, and shared an 111-run third wicket partnership with Henry Nicholls (71 not out).
Canterbury coach Gary Stead called Bowes’ innings a “magic knock”, but said the key to getting home was establishing partnerships.
Bowes and Peter Fulton put on 93 for the second wicket, while Nicholls and Cole McConchie (47 not out) shared an unbeaten 89-run stand to finish things off.
“We talked at the start of the day about needing partnerships to get whatever we were going to chase,” Stead said.
“[Bowes] scored boundaries all over the ground, he hit the ball cleanly early on.”
Wellington would have fancied their chances to win the match after setting the visitors 324 to win on a low and slow wicket.
Resuming the final day on 250-7, they could only add 19 runs to their second innings total, but had skittled Canterbury for just 243 in the first innings.
Black Caps fast bowler Matt Henry, who finished the match with figures of 9-137, wrapped up Wellington’s second innings to ensure they had plenty of time to go about their chase.
“Matt bowled particularly well, especially in the first innings and then he came on and wrapped up the tail. He’s obviously a class bowler and he showed what he can do. But it wasn’t just him. I thought all our bowlers bowled well,” Stead said.
With six rounds in the bag, teams will now prepare for day-night matches in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, starting next Monday.
Canterbury will face defending champions Auckland at Eden Park, Northern and Central Districts will clash at Seddon Park, while Otago will travel to the capital to play Wellington at Westpac Stadium.
“It’s a bit of a novelty, it’s something different,” Stead said.
“So we’ll see how it goes. We’re into March now, whether there is going to be a dew factor, it might negate the ball swinging around, but we’ll have to see what happens.”
Canterbury introduced the pink ball to its training sessions the past couple of weeks, and Stead said they will be sure to train during the twilight period of the day in the leadup to the match.
The two other round six Plunket Shield games finished on Tuesday, with Otago beating Northern Districts by five wickets and Auckland and Central Districts playing out a draw.
AT A GLANCE
Wellington 297 and 269 (S Murdoch 56, L Woodcock 46, H Marshall 42; M Henry 4-75, A Ellis 3-38) lost to Canterbury 243 and 325-3 (C Bowes 149, H Nicholls 71 not out, C McConchie 47 not out) by seven wickets at the Basin Reserve, Wellington.
POINTS: Canterbury 66, Northern Districts 58, Wellington 53, Auckland 48, Otago 41, Central 32.
Article courtesy of Robert Van Royen – Stuff.