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Rain, fog heats up Plunket Shield race

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/03/2017

All three Plunket Shield title aspirants are on the back foot following the weather-hit first day of the final round of matches.

Leaders Canterbury can secure the title if victorious over Wellington at Hagley Oval.

Rain delayed their start until mid-afternoon and Canterbury responded poorly after losing the toss, collapsing to 93-7 before Todd Astle (62 not out) and Logan van Beek (24 not out) put on an unbroken stand of 50.

The hosts are 143-7, with Wellington seamers Hamish Bennett, Brent Arnel and Matt McEwan having all taken two wickets.

Second-placed Auckland also stuttered with the bat in the 15 overs possible against Central Districts in Napier.

They reached 57-3 before fog rolled in, with in-form Colin Munro having zipped to 24 off 13 balls before a lack of visibility forced an early end.

Third-placed Northern Districts' struggles were with the ball as Otago reached 301-4 in Dunedin.

Anaru Kitchen equalled the Otago record for most first-class centuries in a season with his fourth hundred this summer, having posted an unbeaten 141. His tons have come in the space of six matches for the last-placed southerners.

Derek de Boorder was on 64, with the pair crafting an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 202.

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