Plunket Shield: Rain dominates as domestic first-class cricket season gets underway

Ground staff place covers on the pitch as rain falls during the Plunket Shield match between Wellington and Canterbury at the Basin Reserve.

Those looking to stake their claim for a place in the Black Caps’ test squad to face the West Indies were kept waiting on Monday, as rain in Hamilton and Wellington meant there was little action on the first day of the new Plunket Shield season.

Incumbent opener Tom Blundell was dismissed cheaply after Wellington were sent in by Canterbury, caught in the deep on the leg side by Matt Henry off the bowling of Ed Nuttall for 2.

Will Williams then had fellow opener Rachin Ravindra caught behind by Cam Fletcher for eight.

Newly-eligible test hopeful Devon Conway was not out on 22 and Andrew Fletcher not out on 2 when the rain arrived midway through the first session and with no further play possible, the Firebirds finished the day at 46-2.

Northern Districts were sent in by the Central Districts Stags at Seddon Park, but made a better fist of proceedings, reaching 81-0 before rain intervened during the 21st over of the day.

After a delayed start, former Black Caps opener and ND newcomer Jeet Raval made his way to 44, while Henry Cooper finished the day on 32.

Play in both matches was called off during their respective tea breaks, just before 4pm.

The third match in the opening round, between the Auckland Aces and the Otago Volts, is set to start on Tuesday at Eden Park Outer Oval.

More rain is forecast in Hamilton on Tuesday, but conditions are set to improve in the capital.


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