It was a tough introduction to the role of captaincy for Unreal Grass Wicket Wanganui cricketer Ben Smith, as the Central Stags lost to the Otago Volts by 125 runs in their Ford Trophy match in Dunedin yesterday.
Otago won the toss and on a batsman-friendly University of Otago Oval, smacked an association-record 407-4 from their 50 overs, with Smith's counterpart Hamish Rutherford scoring 155 from 104 balls.
Rutherford's opening partnership of 189 with Mitch Renwick (49) was also an Otago first wicket record for List A cricket.
In reply, the Stags were bowled out for 282 in the 42nd over.
After a good start where Nelson's Greg Hay (43) and Manawatu's Dane Cleaver (40) put on a brisk 55-run partnership in less than eight overs, Otago's Anaru Kitchen (4-34) picked up the first of his wickets, as all the Stags players would fall to catches, three of them by the bowlers themselves.
Recalled Taranaki batsman Will Young(62) looked to keep the Stags on course, but lost Hay and then Smith cheaply, dismissed for three by a caught-behind off the bowling of Michael Rippon (2-56) in the 19th over.
Hawke's Bay's Kieran Noema-Barnett (76) joined Young for a 51-run partnership to keep hope alive at 182-3 in the 26th over, but Otago then ripped through the middle order, taking four wickets for just 12 runs, courtesy of Dean Foxcroft (2-39) and Michael Rae (2-49).
Brad Schmulian (35) joined his Hawke's Bay team mate Noema-Barnett to get their side through to 269-7 in the 40th over, but with a run rate approaching 14.
Kitchen returned to break the partnership by getting Noema-Barnett out as the last hope, and then cleaned up the tail in two overs.
Smith and the Stags will be hoping for a better performance on Wednesday in the return Ford Trophy game at Nelson's Saxton Oval.