The third round of the State Championship is just finishing, so it would be good time for me to wrap up round 2, and round 1 for that matter.
Just to throw the points table completely out for the whole season, round 1 of the State Championship consisted of just one match, Auckland v. Canterbury:
Auckland 398 & 175
Canterbury 169 & 331
Auckland win by 73 runs
Top batsman: Tim McIntosh scores the first century of the tournament, 140 (&9), inevitably prompting the suggestion that he be picked to open for the Black Caps.
Top bowler: Brandon Hiini gets a 7/148 match. He's compiling a very good record, now just in his third season.
Now the business starts. All teams involved in this round.
Northern Districts 275 & 181/7
Central Districts 213 & 335
Auckland 207 & 203
Central win by 138 runs
Wellington 428/8 dec.
Canterbury 162 & 224
Wellington win by inn. and 42 runs
Top bat: Matthew Bell is back with 146, his 18th century for Wellington, a record number for a province. 18 doesn't sound like much of a record and I was intrigued at how many the century machine Glenn Turner had managed, so I looked him up. The point about the record is of course that the centuries were scored for one province. Turner scored 13 for Otago and 1 for Northern Districts, so he isn't even all that high for total NZ provincial centuries. Of course, he has 7 for NZ, 9 for the 'New Zealanders', 1 for South Island and a staggering 72 from his 284 matches with Worcestershire, for a total of 103.
Top bowl: Ewen Thompson had a 7/79 match in destroying Auckland. Of special mention however is the return of James Franklin, who picked up 4/56 over two innings. I think he was taking it fairly easy. I went down to watch a session of the Wgtn/Cant. match, but Franklin didn't get a spell.
Again three matches, though the round was largely doomed from its early stages where rain at a couple of venues delayed play, then not helped by certain batsmen's utter reluctance to get out. An aggressive declaration by Canterbury, conceding a 178 first innings lead to Otago ensured that game went to four innings.
Wgtn 533/5 dec.
ND 325 & 249
CD 479/9 & 99/2
CD win by 8 wickets
Otago 352 & 113/5 dec.
Cant. 174/5 dec. & 285/7
Top bat: Where to begin? Eight centuries in total this round. Starting from the smallest: Sinclair 101, Woodcock 102, Watling 111, Bell 122 (increasing his record and pushing for another place in the BCs?), Boom 140, McIntosh 191 (another huge century, but I maintain that he is not consistent enough for the BCs), Franklin 219 (he's back as a batsman as well as a bowler), Ingram 247 (a CD record)
Top bowl: It really was a batsmen's round and I'm tempted to not even mention any bowling. Under the circumstances though, decent bowling performances must be worthy efforts. We actually had a five-fer: Burtt 5/119, which he followed up with 0 in the next innings, meaning that his team mate's 5/54 match was actually the much better haul. [Edit: The team mate was Ellis.]
Phew, that was a lot of work. I'm not sure I can keep this up all season.