Plunket Shield update

With just 12 days of cricket remaining in the New Zealand domestic first-class season, the heat is on the top contenders to bring it home. With a maximum 20 points available per match and three rounds left, Canterbury is out in front by 11 points, chased by Northern Districts in second spot. ND is closely tailed by the Wellington Firebirds, 13 points behind the leader and two behind ND. Defending champions the Auckland Aces meanwhile need a big round or two to make up ground from fourth position the Aces currently on 54 points to Canterbury s 73. Plunket Shield: Munro suspended for 1 match following Code of Conduct breach

Points table, leading runscorers and leading wicket-takers

Pre-Christmas, largely sunny skies saw six outright Plunket Shield results and eight drawn matches, while the Central Stags and Firebirds planned encounter at the Basin Reserve was abandoned following the earthquake that rocked Kaikoura and Wellington. Since the February resumption, Canterbury is the only one of the top four sides to have chalked up an outright (grabbing what could prove a pivotal seven-wicket win over the Firebirds) while the Otago Volts gained their first win against ND, hauling themselves off the bottom rung of the ladder and, at the same time, costing a weakened ND the competition lead.

Round eight unfolds this week in Napier (Stags v Firebirds), Auckland (Aces v ND) and Christchurch (Canterbury v Volts) with Auckland looking set to enjoy the best of the week’s weather after the recent deluge. Canterbury has been a regular custodian of the Plunket Shield in recent seasons, having won the national title in 2010/11, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

All four-day matches begin at 10.30am

Entry to all matches is FREE with gates open 10am

All matches are livescored at www.blackcaps.co.nz

Livescoring features live video highlights so you can see the key action as it happens

Social hashtag: #PlunketShield

Plunket Shield Round Eight

14-17 March 2017

Auckland Aces v Northern Districts at Eden Park Outer Oval

Auckland Aces (one change, Raja Sandhu comes back in for the unavailable Colin Munro): Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Donovan Grobbelaar, Michael Guptill-Bunce, Ben Horne (wk), Mitchell McClenaghan, Tarun Nethula, Rob Nicol (c), Robbie O Donnell, Glenn Phillips, Raja Sandhu, Sean Solia.

Northern Districts (unchanged): Corey Anderson (c), James Baker, Joe Carter, Henry Cooper, Zak Gibson, Nick Kelly, Daryl Mitchell, Scott Kuggeleijn, Bharat Popli, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Josef Walker.

Match referee: Ross Dykes

Umpires: Phil Jones and Shaun Haig

Scorers: Annette Campbell and Claire Hayne Gill

Central Stags v Wellington Firebirds at McLean Park, Napier

Central Stags (one change, Jesse Ryder returns from the Hong Kong T20 Blitz for uncapped Ryan Watson): Greg Hay, Ben Smith, Will Young (c), Jesse Ryder, George Worker, Tom Bruce, Dane Cleaver (wk), Ajaz Patel, Adam Milne, Seth Rance, Navin Patel, Blair Tickner.

Wellington Firebirds (changes, Peter Younghusband comes in with Jeetan Patel on BLACKCAPS duty; Michael Pollard, Matt Taylor drop out of 13): Michael Papps (c), Brent Arnel, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Hamish Marshall, Matt McEwan, Iain McPeake, Stephen Murdoch, Luke Ronchi, Anurag Verma, Luke Woodcock, Peter Younghusband.

Match referee: Richard Hayward

Umpires: Chris Brown and Garth Stirrat

Scorers: Duncan Mitchell and Beverly Baker

Canterbury v Otago Volts at Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Canterbury (one change, Will Williams for Matt Henry): Andrew Ellis (c), Todd Astle, Chad Bowes, Jack Boyle, Cameron Fletcher (wk), Peter Fulton, Tim Johnston, Ken McClure, Cole McConchie, Henry Shipley, Logan van Beek, Will Williams.

Otago Volts (one change, Sean Eathorne for Neil Broom): Brad Wilson (c), Michael Rippon, Michael Bracewell, Sean Eathorne, Derek de Boorder (wk), Sam Wells, Anaru Kitchen, Christi Viljoen, Nathan Smith, Jacob Duffy, Michael Rae, Rhys Phillips.

Match referee: Gary Baxter

Umpires: Derek Walker and John Bromley

Scorers: Karen Fleet and Gail McGowan

Notes

Last season s top first-class wicket-taker, Central Stags off-spinner Ajaz Patel, is again leading the wickets in Plunket Shield with 31 so far this season, four ahead of Aces leg-spinner Tarun Nethula

  • Luke Woodcock (Firebirds) requires 263 runs to reach 7000 first-class runs
  • Rob Nicol (Aces) requires 82 runs to reach 6000 first-class runs
  • Andrew Ellis (Canterbury) requires 148 runs to reach 5000 first-class runs
  • Todd Astle (Canterbury) requires 159 runs to reach 4000 first-class runs
  • Will Young (Central Stags) requires 213 runs to reach 3000 first-class runs
  • Scott Kuggeleijn (Northern Districts) requires 5 runs to reach 2000 first-class runs
  • Tom Blundell (Firebirds) requires 125 runs to reach 2000 first-class runs
  • Cameron Fletcher (Canterbury) requires 110 runs to reach 2000 first-class runs
  • Tom Bruce (Central Stags) requires 241 runs to reach 2000 first-class runs
  • Tim Seifert (Northern Districts) requires 49 runs to reach 1000 first-class runs
  • Ken McClure (Canterbury) requires 69 runs to reach 1000 first-class runs
  • Ish Sodhi (Northern Districts) requires three wickets to reach 150 first-class wickets
  • Jacob Duffy (Otago Volts) requires two wickets to reach 100 first-class wickets
  • Ben Wheeler (Central Stags out of action) requires four wickets to reach 100 first-class wickets
  • Colin Munro (Aces out of action) requires two wickets to reach 50 first-class wickets
  • Adam Milne (Central Stags) requires three wickets to reach 50 first-class wickets
  • Kyle Jamieson (Canterbury out of action) requires four wickets to reach 50 first-class wickets
  • Rob Nicol (Aces) requires seven wickets to reach 50 first-class wickets
  • Cameron Fletcher (Canterbury) requires 7 dismissals to reach 100 first-class dismissals

Recent milestones

Todd Astle (Canterbury) 300 first-class wickets

Rob Nicol (Aces) 4000 first-class runs for the Auckland Aces

Neil Broom (Otago Volts) 8000 first-class runs