Sinclair shines before the rain

Central Stags veteran Mathew Sinclair gave a reminder of his enduring qualities before rain foiled any victory hopes in the Plunket Shield cricket match against the Canterbury Wizards today.

The 36-year-old former international scored a classy 118 not as the Stags left the home side a victory target of 345 in the second innings at MainPower Oval in Rangiora.

It was a tall order from the outset for the Wizards, who were denied the chance to get into their work as rain forced a premature finish with the host on 10 for one.

Sinclair, who has had a quiet start to the season by his own high standards, had earlier flourished after resuming on 37 with the Stags at 150 for three and holding an overall lead of 206 runs.

He continued to command the utmost respect of his opponents as he calmly advanced to his 32nd first-class century and his 23rd for the Stags.

By the time the declaration came at 288 for four Sinclair had been in the middle for 202 minutes, faced 177 balls and struck 14 boundaries.

Wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk also had time to score a fluent, unbeaten 41 to add to the first innings century he posted against his former Wizards teammates.

Day 3: Ellis in the runs again

Andrew Ellis continues to prove his credentials as a genuine allrounder.

His burgeoning abilities with the bat were to the fore again as he helped guide his Canterbury Wizards team to a competitive total against the Central Stags at MainPower Oval in Rangiora today.

Ellis scored 65 not out, his third half-century in five innings this summer, as the Wizards posted 251 for six declared responding to the Stags’ 307.

The Stags built their overall lead to 206 runs with a day remaining, leaving the ground on 150 for three in their second innings at stumps, with opener Peter Ingram having contributed a typically aggressive 62 off 79 balls.

Wizards skipper Peter Fulton made the bold decision to declare while behind due to the entire second day being lost to rain and in the hope the Stags leave the home side a gettable target tomorrow.

The 28-year-old Ellis was better known for his seam bowling before chalking up a maiden first-class century last season.

He has hit something of a purple match this term, as his two-hour 65 containing seven fours and two sixes lifted his season’s aggregate to 226 runs and boosted his average to 113.

The other major contributor for the Wizards was Fulton, who advanced his overnight 14 to 76 after the home side resumed this morning on 27 for one.

Roald Badenhorst made an encouraging debut with the ball for the Stags, the young fast bowler taking three for 68 off 19 overs, including the wickets of Tom Latham for a duck, Henry Nicholls for a duck and Shanan Stewart for 33.

Day 2: Day two washout at Rangiora

Rain meant that not a ball was bowled at two of the three venues on the scheduled second day of third round matches, at Rangiora and Lincoln.

At Rangiora, Canterbury are due to restart tomorrow on 27 for one in their first innings and wanting to make serious inroads into the 307 scored by the Central Stags, who were buoyed by a spirited 131 from their captain Kruger van Wyk.

Day 1: Van Wyk stands tall for Stags

Captain Kruger van Wyk dug the Central Stags out of a huge hole in their Plunket Shield match against the Canterbury Wizards at Rangiora today.

The Wizards made all the early running on the first day at MainPower Oval before van Wyk did a fine patch-up job to score a defiant 131 in his team’s first innings of 307.

The Stags struck one blow before stumps as debutant Roald Badenhorst enjoyed a fairytale introduction by having Tom Latham caught by Mathew Sinclair off the third delivery of his first over at this level.

George Worker and Peter Fulton are set to stride to the crease tomorrow with the Wizards on 27 for one. 

Earlier, the Stags were in serious bother at 78 for five until van Wyk found a willing accomplice in Carl Cachopa as this pair turned around their team’s fortunes.

They put on 110 for the sixth wicket, being separated only when Cachopa was trapped leg before wicket by hard working seamer Andrew Ellis for 56.

Both Cachopa and van Wyk, who share South Africa as their country of birth, refused to be cowed and asserted themselves to steal back the initiative.

Van Wyk, a former Canterbury captain, was particularly punishing when confronted with anything loose, striking 21 fours and one six off just 156 balls in an innings lasting 232 minutes.

Cachopa took the lead from his leader, needing just 77 balls to raise his second first-class half-century.

Once he departed van Wyk remained determined to stay positive but there was little support save for a quick 36 provided by Tarun Nethula. 

Ellis was the standout bowler for the Wizards, sending down 23 overs for a meritorious return of four for 81. He knocked the top off the Stags innings, removing Peter Ingram, Ben Smith and Sinclair during a spell when the Stags lost four wickets for 15 runs.

Young fast bowler Matt Henry had his moments as well to pick up two for 55 from 15.1 overs, including the wicket of van Wyk.   

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