Cricket: Otago Volts win thriller

By Niall Anderson

Neil Broom made a big score for Otago. Photo /
Neil Broom made a big score for Otago. Photo /

The Otago Volts have jumped off the bottom of the domestic one-day ladder, beating the Northern Knights by three runs in a high-scoring thriller this afternoon.

Missing four frontline bowlers to international duty and another to injury, the Knights bowling attack were always set to be up against it, and Neil Broom took control with a superb unbeaten 124 as the Volts racked up 298-6.

Otago's batting display was cut into distinct thirds, with a stand of 121 between Broom and Anaru Kitchen (63) initially setting the Volts up perfectly for a big score.

Needing a breakthrough, seamer Tony Goodin struck with three quick wickets, dismissing the dangerous trio of Kitchen, Hamish Rutherford and Jimmy Neesham to reduce the visitors to 142-4 on the expansive Cobham Oval ground.

Fortunately for Otago, Broom was still at the crease, and he continued to keep the runs flowing, eventually being joined by Mark Craig for a late onslaught.

The duo added an unbroken 76 from the last 41 balls of the innings to set a difficult total - Craig's cameo proving influential as he smashed 39 from 20 balls.

The Knights lost both openers cheaply, but found capable contributors in the middle order - Dean Brownlie and Anton Devcich adding 104 for the third wicket.

Brownlie fell for 55, but Devcich carried on, making 81 from 78 balls as the Knights found themselves requiring 75 from the last seven overs.

A 52-ball 56 from BJ Watling suddenly made the task at hand realistic, and when Tim Seifert blasted a Neil Wagner delivery into the crowd, the equation stood at 23 from 12 balls.

However, Jacob Duffy snared two wickets in successive deliveries, leaving Brett Hampton eventually needing to clear the rope to win, or find it to tie.

He could only manage a single, and the Volts held on to consign the Knights to the bottom of the ladder.

Elsewhere, the Central Stags moved into second spot on the Ford Trophy table, beating the Wellington Firebirds by 55 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system.

Central's top three batsmen did all the damage, with openers George Worker (64) and Ben Smith (57) being aided by Jesse Ryder who plundered 83 from 74 balls.

Quick bowler Dane Hutchinson took the biggest beating, going for 81 from his eight overs as Central totalled 324-7.

Wellington's chase was doomed from the start, as Michael Papps took a horrendous 20 balls to get off the mark.

As a result, they were always behind the run-rate, and when rain came in the 30th over, their chances of staging a miraculous chase ended.

- NZ Herald

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