8th Match: Wellington v Central Districts at Wellington, 10-13 Dec 2001
Steve McMorran
CricInfo.com

Central Districts 1st innings: Scene Set, Day Four, Drinks One, Day Four, Innings, Day Four,
Wellington 2nd innings: Lunch, Day Four, Drinks Two, Day Four, Wrap, Day Four,
Live Reports from previous days


WELLINGTON VS CD MATCH ENDS IN QUIET DRAW

Wellington took two valuable points for a first innings lead from their State Championship match against Central Districts which ended before tea on the final day in an uneventful draw.

Central were out this morning for 287 after resuming at 260-7 in reply to Wellington's first innings of 326-8 declared. Wellington had reached 110-3 when players left the field in light rain 12 minutes before the scheduled tea break. With no other result in progress, the captains agreed to end play before the commencement of the final session..

Wellington entered the match with only one point from two Championship matches and concerned that competition leaders Canterbury, who took first innings points against Northern, were beginning to slip away at the head of a cluttered table.

They registered first innings points when they claimed Central's last three wickets for only 27 runs in 20.5 overs but they were unable to construct even the prospect of a larger result.

Richard Jones gave a drab day some lustre when he achieved his third half century in three trophy matches, accompanying his 52 against Auckland and 101 against Canterbury. He was out for 59 when Wellington was 101-2 and he batted 138 minutes, hitting six fours and one six.

Central had chosen to bat on today in the hope of gaining a first innings lead - a reasonable hope in comfortable batting conditions, particularly with Andrew Schwass still at the wicket and 24 not out.

That hope deteriorated when Brett Hefford was out for two and only eight runs had been added to the overnight total and further when Schwass was out for 40 at 280, while Central were still 46 runs behind. The last pair added only seven runs before Lance Hamilton was out without scoring.

Matthew Walker continued an outstanding match, embellishing his first innings century with a catch and three wickets. He finished with 3-45 from 27.5 overs, taking a hand in all three dismissals today.

Wellington began their second innings with little hope of an outright win but with the prospect at least of a little batting practice in a summer that has been blighted by rain.

Opener and captain Matthew Bell was most in need of that practice and he seemed to be batting comfortably when he was out for 22 in the 12th over, the first from Andrew Schwass. Bell played a half-hearted shot and was caught by wicketkeeper Bevan Griggs after batting only 45 minutes, putting on 43 with Jones.

Phil Chandler continued laboriously to 16 - batting more than two hours for that total and taking more than 30 balls to get off the mark. He was still 16 and James Franklin had yet to score when rain stopped play. Grant Donaldson had previously been out for 0, one of two victims of Glen Sulzberger and Matthew Sinclair at first slip, and ended the match with a pair.



DRAW ON CARD AT BASIN RESERVE

The State Championship match between Wellington and Central Districts at the Basin Reserve seemed bound for a draw and an early finish by drinks in the middle session of its final day.

Wellington were 84-1 in their second innings, 123 runs ahead of Central but there seemed too little time remaining in the match to construct more than the first innings result that went in Wellington's favour this morning.

Opener Richard Jones was 49 not out at drinks, poised for his third half century of the championship season. He had been joined by Phil Chandler who made slow progress to 8.

Conditions are overcast and cold and very light drizzle has fallen this afternoon. The match can be called off at noon if the captains and umpires agree that further play will produce no meaningful outcome.



WELLINGTON LOSE BELL BEFORE LUNCH

Wellington led Central Districts by 82 runs with nine second innings wickets in hand by lunch on the final day of their State Championship match at the Basin Reserve today.

After dismissing Central this morning for 287 to take two points and a 39-run first innings lead, openers Matthew Bell and Richard Jones guided Wellington to 43 before Bell's dismissal in the last over before lunch.

Bell was 20 and batting well when he was caught behind by Bevan Griggs from the first ball of Andrew Schwass' first over of the day - the 12th of the Wellington innings. Jones, who played a series of florrid strokes on the leg side, was 17 by lunch and had been joined by Phil Chandler.

Earlier, Wellington wrapped up Central's first innings in 20.5 overs this morning and at a cost of 27 runs. Central resumed at 260-7, needing 67 runs for first innings reports but lost Brent Hefford, Schwass and Lance Hamilton in 80 minutes.

Hefford fell for two when they were 268 and Schwass - their major hope - for 40 after resuming overnight at 24. Hamilton hadn't scored when he was lbw to Walker for 0 and Michael Mason ws left 11 not out.

Matthew Walker, who made his first first-class century in Wellington's first innings, took a catch at second slip to remove Hefford, then contributed the wicket's of Schwass and Hamilton. He finished with 3-45 from 27.5 overs.

Andrew Penn, who bowled seven overs today for nine runs and who claimed Hefford, had 2-38 from 24 overs.



WELLINGTON TAKE FIRST INNINGS POINTS

Wellington took first innings points on the final day of their State Championship championship match against Central Districts at the Basin Reserve today, dismissing Central for 287 in reply to their 326-8 declared.

The two points for a first innings led fell to Wellington when they took only 20.5 overs to secure the last three wickets of Centrals innings at a cost of 27 runs.

Central resumed at 260-7, still 66 runs behind Wellington and bent on a slow grind towards a first innings advantage. Their cause was set back when Brent Hefford was out for two when they were 268 and their hopes were virtually extinguished when Andrew Schwass, who was 24 not out overnight, fell for 40 when they were still 46 runs behind.

Hefford dangled the bat at a delivery from Andrew Penn which was running across his body towards the slip cordon and presented an easy chance to Matthew Walker at second slip.

Schwass batted resolutely for more than two hours, hitting two fours and two sixes, and kept alive for as long as possible Central's hopes of a first innings lead. But he played an unusually wilful shot to a ball from Walker and was caught by Matthew Bell, running from mid-off to cover. ] Lance Hamilton was the last man out, trapped lbw by Walker who in the match to date has an unbeaten first innings century, a catch and three wickets for 45 runs from 27.5 overs.



BALANCE TIPS WELLINGTON'S WAY ON DAY FOUR

Central Districts were 286-9 at drinks on the final morning of their State Championship match against Wellington at the Basin Reserve today, still 40 behind Wellington the first innings with only one wicket in hand.

Wellington took the upper hand in the battle for first innings points when they claimed the wickets of Brent Hefford and the threatening Andrew Schwass in the early part of this final day, while Central added only 26 runs in 70 minutes.

Central resumed at 260-7, replying to Wellington's first innings total of 326-8 declared and the match appeared reasonably poised on the first innings but unlikely to yield an outright result.

Schwass, who was 24 not out overnight, and Brent Hefford, two not out, took the total to 268 before Hefford pushed forward and away from his body and was caught by Matthew Walker from the bowling of Andrew Penn. He was still two and had added 23 with Schwass for the eight wicket.

Wellington made a vital breakthrough when they removed Schwass for 40 when Central were 280. Schwass sparred at a ball from Matthew Walker and skied a catch to Wellington captain Matthew Bell, running around from mid-off to cover.

The initiative was then with Wellington as Central still needed 46 runs and had only the last pair at the wicket.

Andrew Penn bowled a niggardly and exacting spell this morning of seven overs, three of which were maidens, taking one wicket for nine runs.



FIRST INNGINGS RESULT MOST LIKELY OUTCOME

An even contest for first innings points will command principal attention on the final day of the State Championship match between Wellington and Central Districts at the Basin Reserve today.

Central will resume at 260-7, replying to Wellington's first innings total of 326-8 declared, and with little potential remaining in the match of an outright result to either side.

Typically, a match thus poised - with the batting team requiring 67 runs with three wickets in hands - would appear to favour the bowling side. But Central have Andrew Schwass at the crease on 24 and in Brent Hefford, Michael Mason and Lance Hamilton, players who can graft a few runs in a tight situation.

Wellington's fast bowlers failed to maintain a line yesterday that consistently troubled the batsman and the pitch is now so placid that even non-specialist batsmen should be able to survive with reasonable application.

There were recriminations after play last night and after Central batted through 103 overs for their 260 runs, gradually eroding any hope of an outright decision.

Wellington hoped Central would declare behind. They would then, according to coach Vaughn Johnson, have chased quick runs and declared at stumps leaving Central 320 runs to chase today in 100 overs.

Central toyed with the idea of a declaration when they were 203-6 on the dismissal of Glen Sulzberger for 56. But wicketkeeper Bevan Griggs belted 49 runs from 88 balls and suddenly the pursuit of first innings points became a viable option.

There decision was also coloured by concern about today's weather. It is heavily overcast in Wellington this morning, rain is forecast, and Central weren't prepared to simply hand Wellington two first innings points in a match which might peter out without another result.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 13 Dec2001 - 06:31