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Central Stags make a solid start at Eden Park

It was a day of first balls for the Auckland Aces as they began their Plunket Shield second round match against the Central Stags.

Auckland won the toss and opted to bowl as the cloud cover thickened, and the wind blew stiffly all day.

The Stags opened well with Greg Hay and Ben Smith both making a steady start. Smith then fell to Raja Sandhu, LBW for 15 on Sandhu’s first ball of the match.

Hay was joined by Brad Schmulian, and the pair brought up CD’s 100 runs. Then Hay was caught behind off Danru Ferns for 33 and Schmulian got to 50 before being caught behind off Will Somerville.

The middle session started as it was to continue when Dane Cleaver hit the first ball after lunch for six back past the bowler. From there he and Willem Ludick piled on the runs.

Cleaver brought up his 50 and launched his innings. More disappointing then, that he had been dropped on 0.

Midway through the second session Somerville was carted out of the ground and across the road by Ludick twice in an over. There was a solid thump as the ball made contact with a car on the first occasion.

It was therefore a great relief when Ludick was dismissed for 50, mistiming a pull shot from Ferns and sending it straight to Sandhu.

Doug Bracewell came in just before tea, smashed a six before going inside. He came out again and was caught behind off Sandhu on the first ball after tea.

McEwan was rewarded with the new ball, and immediately struck. First Cleaver was caught for 117 as he tried to take McEwan on down the wicket. Then two balls later Christian Leopard was caught behind for 19.

Adam Milne and Ryan McCone tried to continue as the Stags had started in the last hour, but McCone was bowled by Solia for 17, and Seth Rance was dismissed by Somerville for 0.

The Central Stags will come out tomorrow at 359/9.

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Full scorecard here

Image credit: Photosport.co.nz

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