The Auckland Aces have been left with an unsatisfying draw as day four against Northern Districts concluded early.
The result, along with the 584 runs Central Districts put on Otago, means Auckland is now second on the Plunket Shield ladder with two rounds to go.
The final day at Cobham Oval started positively, with Martin Guptill hitting boundaries off Scott Kuggeleijn. But when an awkward pull shot saw Guptill out for 42, much of the life in the innings went with him.
Graeme Beghin continued to show he was there to play attacking cricket, taking the Aces past 100 runs and bringing up his 50 with the same shot.
It was too good to last – Beghin was caught behind off Ish Sodhi for 58.
Then it was back to more of the same. Glenn Phillips and Robbie O’Donnell played with the same caution they had in the first innings. But now, instead of building a platform, they might as well have been marking time.
Lunch came and went – as did Phillips and O’Donnell, for 31 and 42 respectively.
When Auckland were six down, Mark Chapman and Will Somerville put together a 50 partnership. It was the last hour before tea in a game that wasn’t going to get a result. At that point, why not?
The players went inside at tea and everyone decided enough was enough. The match was declared a draw with a session remaining. Auckland finished with their second innings at 249/6
Auckland’s next match is against Canterbury at Rangiora, starting Saturday 9 March.
Image credit: Photosport.co.nz