The fourth and final day of the Plunket Shield match between the Wellington Firebirds and Central Stags is sure to be an intriguing one, with both sides eyeing up a victory at Karori Park, Wellington.
The Stags posted 389 in their second innings to set the Firebirds' a target of 247 to win. The home side were then rocked by the loss of three wickets at the end of the day to be 53 for three and needing 193 runs to win.
Crucially for the Stags, one of the wickets the Firebirds' lost was that of danger man Jesse Ryder. Having scored a century in the first innings, the explosive number four was held to 19 on this occasion, caught off the bowling of Andrew Lamb.
Preceding his exit was Josh Brodie (4) and Stephen Murdoch (2), giving the Stags every hope of claiming the points tomorrow.
Lamb took saw the end of both Ryder and Murdoch, while Peter Trego dismissed Brodie.
At day's start, Carl Cachopa had once again played a pivotal role in ensuring the Stag' bowlers would have something respectable to defend.
Jeet Raval added 39 to his overnight total, before falling for 74. Cachopa then took over the reins and played freely to bring up his half-century off 61 balls.
He found support from Kruger van Wyk (41) and together they took Central past the 300 mark. Unlike so many other times this summer, Cachopa would be denied his century as he fell for 90 to James Franklin.
Trego came in and whipped a quick 59 from 65 balls, as the Stags came within 11 of 400. It was a fine fight back from the visitors, who had trailed by 143 runs after the first innings.
Having somehow found time to play before his departure to South Africa for the Black Caps, Franklin picked up the side's best bowling figures of four for 71 from 20 overs.