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The Christchurch Press Canterbury v Auckland (Shell Trophy)
The Christchurch Press - 27 February - 2 March 1999

Day 2: Auckland duo destroys Canty

Auckland cricketers Chris Drum and Reece Young surely swear by the old adage that good things come to those who wait.

After biding their time for almost two days, Drum, especially, and Young reduced Canterbury to 77 for six wickets in the Shell Trophy match at Dudley Park, Rangiora.

Having sheltered through Saturday's downpour and waited again yesterday while fierce north-westerly winds dried the pitch block, Drum and Young did not take long to prove it was a valuable toss to win.

Young, in his debut as Auckland wicketkeeper after the retirement of Jason Mills, had the scorers recording his first dismissal from only the third ball.

In a portent of what was to follow, Drum had enticed Craig Cumming to edge a straightforward catch. Canterbury's other opener, Brad Doody, suffered a similar fate, and Young gloved his third catch when Gareth Hopkins became Drum's fifth victim.

Few batsmen survive

Drum, seaming the ball disconcertingly and preying on any suspicions the batsmen harboured about the pitch, also removed Gary Stead, bowled, and Scott Pawson, deftly caught at short leg.

Only Llorne Howell and Hopkins survived any length of time, adding 26 runs in a tortuous 73min as Kerry Walmsley, Aaron Barnes, and Blair Pocock offered solid support.

Just when Howell, in 161min, had all but staved off the beating his team was getting from Drum, the Auckland medium-fast man showed another of his cricketing skills.

Howell answered Mark Priest's call for a seemingly safe single. Drum, following through, stepped sharply to his left, gathered the ball, flicked it out the back of his hand, and threw down the stumps.

The Drum demolition was achieved in two spells, with wickets in his first, fourth, sixth, eighth, and 10th overs. Walmsley, Barnes, and Pocock permitted only 44 runs from the bat off their combined 30 overs.

Day 3: Draw looms at Rangiora

Canterbury's Shell Trophy cricket match with Auckland ended in dim light and stalemate at Rangiora last evening, leaving much to be done on the final day if either side is to reap outright points.

The weather-affected encounter has so far produced two competition points for Auckland, a hefty bag of wickets for its medium-fast bowler, Chris Drum, and a boost to the burgeoning reputation of 20-year-old batsman Lou Vincent.

Vincent's handsome 83 swept Auckland up to Canterbury's paltry first innings total of 135. Despite his departure, Auckland carried on until it led by 46 runs and had used up valuable time and overs.

The declaration was delayed until only 18 overs remained, and backfired when the dark looks from the Canterbury camp were soon to be reflected by the umpires' light meters.

In the morning Drum had claimed a sixth wicket (for the concession of 49 runs) to emphasise his liking for Canterbury pitches. Two summers ago he achieved career-best figures of six for 47 at what was then Lancaster Park.

It did not take Drum long to strike when Canterbury batted a second time. Craig Cumming padded up to his first ball and survived; Brad Doody padded up to the sixth, his first, and was not so fortunate. One over later the light was too bad to continue.

Opening batsmen have not prospered at Dudley Park. Cumming (0) and Doody (4) passed through a revolving door on Sunday. Yesterday, Auckland's Blair Pocock was bowled first ball by Shane Bond and Bryan Young managed one boundary before being caught at second slip off Warren Wisneski.

Wisneski also got rid of Stephen Lynch in quick time, and Auckland was teetering at eight for three. Vincent and Richard King halted Canterbury's advance and decided the first innings issue with their 90-run combination of contrasts.

While King battled, frequently playing and missing, or edging along the ground, the highly promising Vincent generally played with confidence and composure. He stroked 12 fours from the 127 balls he faced, and was downright disrespectful to Mark Priest when greeting him with a straight-hit six.

He had to be good to fend off Wisneski and Bond, who bowled with plenty of spirit, but very little luck.

Canterbury seemingly has no chance of victory today, while Auckland will look once more to Drum to keep it in trophy calculations.

Day 4: Auckland seam bowlers roll Canterbury for 62

Auckland seam bowlers Kerry Walmsley, Chris Drum, and Aaron Barnes created havoc as the northerners took outright points in their Shell Trophy cricket match against Canterbury at Rangiora.

Canterbury was rolled for 62 in its second innings about 10min before lunch yesterday on a Dudley Park pitch slightly freshened after overnight rain.

It was the province's lowest-ever score against Auckland, the previous worst being 72 in the 1873-74 season.

The Auckland openers needed only 17min and 4.1 overs after the early lunch to score the 17 runs required.

Many pundits had been picking a draw for the game, which had been reduced to three days by rain.

Instead the Auckland seamers cut loose with Walmsley (four for 15), Drum (three for 20), and Barnes (three for 27) taking all 10 wickets between them.

Drum took his match tally to nine for 69.

A last-wicket partnership of 21 in 42min between Shane Bond (19) and Carl Anderson (two not out) was Canterbury's best partnership of the innings, saving some embarrassment.

Canterbury coach Garry MacDonald said it was more a case of Auckland bowling very well, than the Canterbury batsman playing badly.

``Unlike when we bowled yesterday (Monday) when we must have gone past the bat a number of times, we nicked out,'' the coach said.

``They bowled very well and we had one of those days,'' he said.

According to MacDonald, Walmsley bowled a very good spell yesterday morning, and all the seamers had good channels. ``It's one of those days when you nick everything and the catches are taken. The scores look particularly bad - and they are, but to be quite honest there wasn't that much difference between the sides,'' he said.

MacDonald added that there was a time to bag the players and a time to support them.

``This is a time they need a little bit of support; I thought they tried hard in the morning, and it just wasn't to be.''

Better news for Canterbury will be the release of all its test players - Geoff Allott apart - for the next trophy game, beginning against Otago at Queen Elizabeth II Park on Friday.

New Zealand Cricket wants the international players to be in action before the second test against South Africa starts at Christchurch next Thursday.

Source: The Christchurch Press
Editorial comments can be sent to The Christchurch Press at press@press.co.nz