NZC

Central Stags v Northern Districts at Nelson Park, Napier

Two batsmen posted three figures with a six in Plunket Shield matches this afternoon: the second to do so was in Napier as Tom Bruce blasted his third first-class century the six guided over third man off BLACKCAP Ish Sodhi

Although Bruce s typically quick, 117-ball hundred contained 9×4 and 3×6, smart batting was on display as he and Dane Cleaver shifted down a gear from their typical, swashbuckling aggression, having belted their 100-stand for the fourth wicket off only 136 balls as the Nelson Park deck flattened out in the heat. With a swelling lead, they could afford to accumulate ones and twos on the way to reaching their respective three-figure milestones and, when Bruce secured his century, the Stags were already well on top at 321/3 with a lead of 393

Bruce would be caught on 115, replaced at the crease by Jesse Ryder before keeper-batsman Dane Cleaver reached his own third first-class century and second in the space of three matches this season off 121 balls (7×4, 2×6)

The century-smashing pair of Bruce and Cleaver had set a new fourth wicket record (176) for the Central Stags v Northern Districts beating the 164 Bruce had set with his captain Will Young at Cobham Oval, Whangarei two seasons ago

At 360/5 at tea, Cleaver still going, Young saw no reason to stop the fun despite the new ball having been taken shortly before the break. The Stags powered on to a lead of exactly 450 before Young declared at 377/5 in 86 overs, Cleaver unbeaten on 108

Stags paceman Doug Bracewell became the second player to be replaced in this match, having now joined the BLACKCAPS squad in Hamilton following the pre-Test injury today to Trent Boult. Bracewell has been replaced by Seth Rance, who opened the second innings attack this afternoon alongside Ben Wheeler and, in his second over, removed Joe Carter

Northern (105/2) trailed by 345 runs heading into the final day, after having lost debutant Henry Cooper caught behind for 34 late in the day’s play. Ish Sodhi is in as nightwatchman for the second time in the match, while Bharat Popli had reached his highest score this season with 43*, looking to break his run drought.

Canterbury v Auckland Aces at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora

It was a red letter day for Canterbury s opening batsmen as 20-year-old debutant Jack Boyle and 24-year-old Chad Bowes piled on 167 runs for the first wicket

Boyle, who had only been called into this match at the last minute, had a prospect of a fairytale maiden century before it was dashed by Lockie Ferguson, catching a top-edge off Donovan Grobbelaar when Boyle was on 81. However, Bowes carried on after lunch to reach his first Plunket Shield hundred for Canterbury, and second first-class century overall having previously scored 127 for Kwa-Zulu during the 2011/12 season in South Africa

Bowes reached his century off 151 balls (11×4, 2×6) with a six over backward square, and went on to post a first-class best of 155 off 207 balls before he was caught by Cody Andrews off leg-spinner Tarun Nethula

By then, Bowes had put on a further 128 runs with Peter Fulton for the second wicket

Canterbury ended the penultimate day at 316 for two, leading by 276, Fulton unbeaten on 66 when late afternoon rain stopped play.

Otago Volts v Wellington Firebirds at University of Otago Oval, Dunedin

First innings batting bonus points, Volts 1 (completed), Firebirds 0 (in progress)

First innings bowling bonus points, Firebirds 4 (maximum achieved), Volts 0 (in progress)

No play rain. Play is scheduled to start at the earlier time of 10am tomorrow, weather permitting. Forecast improves later tomorrow.

BONUS POINTS EXPLAINED

Batting Points First Innings only up to 110 overs first point at 200 runs, second point at 250 runs, third point at 300 runs, fourth point at 350 runs

Bowling Points First Innings only up to 110 overs first point at 3 wickets, second point at 5 wickets, third point at 7 wickets, fourth point at 9 wickets