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Canterbury In Control At Rangiora

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Canterbury In Control At Rangiora

Wellington, March 20 NZPA - Wellington did much to advance their Plunket Shield cricket match against Canterbury today.

Unfortunately for them, though, it was another insipid batting performance by Wellington which left Canterbury with a firm grip on the game after just the first day of the four-day fixture in Rangiora.

The injury-ravaged Wellington side folded for 176 on a surface which had previously proven a graveyard for bowlers this summer, their blushes saved only by Luke Woodcock, who made a resolute 76.

The inadequacy of that total was borne out when Canterbury reached 103 for one in response by stumps as they seek maximum points in the ninth and penultimate round of the competition.

Wellington's top order was swept aside as the visitors slumped to 66 for six before Woodcock found a willing accomplice in Andrew Lamb, who chipped in with 28 batting at No 9.

But it was largely only Woodcock who stood firm, spending close to three hours at the crease before becoming one of four scalps for medium-fast bowler Brandon Hiini.

Hiini returned the most impressive figures of four for 34 to help make up for the absence of fast bowler Hamish Bennett, who collected two early wickets before injury forced him out of the attack.

Bennett's new ball partner Ryan McCone also chipped in with two wickets as the Canterbury attack gave Wellington little respite.

Canterbury responded in positive fashion as Michael Papps and Rob Nicol put on 63 inside 15 overs before Nicol departed for 17.

But former international Papps could not be budged, ending the day unbeaten on 60 alongside his captain Peter Fulton on 15.

Wellington have lost their last five matches, falling well off the competition pace after a series of injuries decimated their ranks, while Canterbury are in third place but cannot catch competition leaders Northern Districts.

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