Wellington remain the only unbeaten team in the Plunket Shield and have taken maximum points after defeating Northern Districts by 82 runs in the round three match at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Earlier in the match Northern Districts captain Daniel Flynn won the toss and inserted Wellington into bat on a pitch with plenty of grass on it. Wellington openers Michael Papps (24) and Luke Woodcock (61) saw off Northern District's opening bowlers. The star batsman for Wellington was Stephen Murdoch who fell 3 runs short of a century. Other contributions came from Michael Bracewell (48) and Fraser Colson (52). The standout bowler for Northern Districts was veteran Brent Arnel who captured 5 for 72 which was his fifteenth five wicket haul at first class level.
In reply, Northern Districts lost the early wickets of Daniel Flynn (2) and Bharat Popli (14). Dean Brownlie was the top scorer for Northern Districts with 82 and he would combine in several middle order partnerships before being dismissed when the score was 211. Northern Districts were finally dismissed for 249 in their first innings. The stand out bowler for Wellington was Logan Van Beek who picked up 4 for 60 while seamer Hamish Bennett took three wickets.
Wellington would start their second innings with a healthy lead of 131 and it was imperative that Northern Districts restricted Wellington's advantage to stay in the match. Wellington could only manage 158 in their second innings due to a fine all round performance by the Northern Districts bowling unit. Northern Districts seam bowler James Baker was the stand out bowler as he picked up 4 for 34. He was backed up by Brent Arnel and Zak Gibson who took two wickets apiece. Northern Districts required 290 runs for victory with four sessions to play. Northern Districts batsman Dean Brownlie and wicket Keeper Tim Seifert managed to take Northern Districts to stumps on day three with a further 178 runs required for victory.
On day four former Canterbury now Wellington turned all-rounder Logan Van Beek would played a pivotal role in turning the advantage to Wellington on the final morning. He took career best figures of 6 for 57 with an overall match haul of 10-117. For Northern Districts Dean Brownlie continued his good form from the first innings and top scored with 72 while there were other solid contributions from Daniel Flynn (36) and Tim Seifert (43).
After three rounds of the Plunket Shield Northern Districts have 17 points. They will play Auckland in round four of the Plunket Shield, starting on the 15th of November at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Match report by Adam Bell, commissioned by Northern Districts.