Records tumble as bat dominates ball on day two
A record breaking 139-run 10th wicket partnership between Mitchell McClenaghan and Raja Sandhu was the highlight for the Auckland Aces on day two of their Plunket Shield fixture against Northern Districts at Eden Park Outer Oval.
McClenaghan (73*) and Sandhu (82) started the day with the Auckland total on 322/9 and after a watchful start were both brutal in their treatment of the visiting attack.
Sandhu was particularly impressive in only his second first-class match, striking the ball big and straight on regular occasions, scoring eight fours and five sixes on his way to the top score of the innings.
His knock was the highest score for an Auckland number 11 batsmen, eclipsing the old mark of 60 held by Pieter Erasmus set in 2009/10.
McClenaghan and Sandhu’s partnership also broke a long standing 10th wicket record, their 139-run stand bettering the previous best of 119 set by William ‘Bill’ Carson and Jack Cowie back in 1937/38.
After an entertaining morning of batting from the Auckland tail, Sandhu eventually fell to Ish Sodhi on the stoke of lunch, the pair helping the Aces achieve maximum first innings bonus points with a total of 461.
On a flat Outer Oval wicket, the Aces knew bowling would be hard work and this was reinforced by a solid start from the visitors with openers Joe Carter and Henry Cooper taking the score past fifty.
The introduction of Tarun Nethula to the bowling crease was the tonic Auckland needed, the leggie accounting for Carter and Bharat Popli in quick succession to put the home side on top at 70/2.
However, some spirited batting from Corey Anderson (76*) and determined resistance from Cooper (73*) ensured Northern fought back into the match.
Auckland’s hands letting them down on a couple of occasions as the pair navigated their way through the final session to be 212/2 at stumps.
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