It was a highway project all right and the mentally scarred Otago Volts batsmen were digging their toes in all the way in Alexandra today.
But Central Districts Stags captain Greg Hay didn't despair on the final day of the round three, first-class Plunket Shield match at Molyneux Park.
The double century maker from Nelson had employed every player at the bowling crease, bar himself and wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver, on a benign pitch for an emphatic innings and 84-run victory.
It was a resounding statement from the Heinrich Malan-coached Stags who haven't loss a four-day match dating back to an undefeated 2017-18 season.
Their demolition of Otago came on the sound platform of a bolshy 6-511 declaration from Hay after 160 overs where Kieran Noema-Barnett contributed to the cause with 108 runs and Tom Bruce 71.
All CD had required was for the bowlers to step to tarseal the highway to victory and, boy, did they ever.
New-ball seamers Blair Tickner and Ryan McCone as well as offspinner Dean Foxcroft took ownership to skittle the opposition twice for 20 wickets, including a first-innings scalping of 162 runs that would have required some kind of exorcising of demons.
"It's my debut and we're on an unbeaten streak as well so it's pretty good for us to come back with a win and great feeling to win the game on debut. It's awesome," said a delighted Foxcroft after taking seven wickets in both innings.
The You Travel Taradale CC premier club cricketer said the victory was a testimony to the allround abilities of CD as a collective after Hay made captain Jacob Duffy and his men follow on.
"It was a tough couple of days for us but everyone had chipped in," said the 20-year-old South African import.
Foxcroft said the flat wicket saw the Volts post 265 in 133.1 overs after carrying on from an overnight total of 3-99 but the Stags bowlers devised ways to claim wickets as a unit.
"We knew from the start that obviously it was a tough ask but we needed to be patient and get the right balls in the right areas," said the tweaker who took 4-57 from 31 overs, including 15 maidens, to add to his 3-8 in the first dig.
Opening batsman Bradley Schmulian took 3-31 from 24.1 overs, including 11 maidens, while Joshua Clarkson chimed in with 2-28 and McCone 1-41 in the second innings.
First-innings hero Tickner toiled but remained wicketless from 21 overs, including eight maidens, for 45 runs.
Foxcroft, who made 10 runs at first drop, was itching to boost his batting should Malan name him for the next round against the Wellington Firebirds at Saxton Oval, Nelson, from Friday.
"I didn't manage to get many runs but to bowl and have all that support around you was pretty awesome."
Foxcroft said consistency, on a high dose of self-belief to claim wickets with an attacking mindset yielded dividends for him yesterday.
"There was a bit of turn as well so I just needed to be consistent in that one area where the ball was turning," he said.
Otago opening batsman Cam Hawkins, on debut, did well to grind out 61 runs from 239 balls before Foxcroft trapped him lbw.
No 4 Shawn Hicks followed up his 42 runs with a 40 in the second innings but No 6 Josh Finnie top scored for the Volts with 72 runs from 162 balls before Havelock North CC premier cricketer Schmulian clipped his bails off with his right-arm offspin delivery.
Late morning rain, which prompted lunch, didn't help CD's cause as the hours of play were revised to 1pm to 3.40pm and 4pm to 6.30pm for a minimum of 77 overs.
The Stags play Northern Districts Knights in their opening Burger King Super Smash Twenty20 match from 7pm at Bay Oval, Tauranga, on December 27.