Cricket: Loss dashes Volts' final hopes

Otago's chances of reaching the HRV Cup final have gone after they were beaten comprehensively by the Auckland Aces in Dunedin today.

Needing to win their final two matches to make the final, Otago batted first and got off to a fair start with all the top three batsmen making useful contributions.

Brendon McCullum made 35, his opening partner Hamish Rutherford 24 and Craig Cumming top-scored with 44 before the innings fell away and the Volts finished their 20 overs on 150 for eight.

Martin Guptill led the way for the Aces, slamming 68 not out. He was supported by Lou Vincent (31) and Azhar Mahmood, who made a tidy 51 as Auckland romped to an eight-wicket win in the 18th over.

In today's other match, Canterbury were far too strong for the Wellington Firebirds at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, easing to a 70-run win.