Wellington go back top of Plunket Shield

Veteran spinner Jeetan Patel has claimed a match haul of 10 wickets to help Wellington back to the top of the Plunket Shield.

The Firebirds had ceded the lead the previous day, but regained first place by completing a tense 18-run win over Otago in Dunedin on Tuesday.

After Wellington opener Michael Papps (128) had scored his 33rd first-class century, Otago were set a chase of 215 for victory.

The Volts resumed on the final day at 62-2 and were dismissed for 196, Patel grabbing 3-73 to go with his 7-105 in the first innings.

The 37-year-old took the winning wicket, bowling Michael Rae after the No.11 batsman had been at the crease for more than hour to maintain his side's hopes of victory.

Rae, 22, had made history earlier in the match, becoming the first player to come into the playing XI as a concussion substitute, permitted under new rules this season.

The pace bowler, originally 12th man, replaced batsman Shawn Hicks, who was hit on the helmet while fielding in close.

Rae went on to take 5-18 in Wellington's second innings, his maiden five-wicket bag in first-class cricket.

Wellington's victory means Central Districts, who had gone top on Monday after their rain-hit draw with Auckland, drop back to second.