After a final day featuring drama, rain and one of the rarest
dismissals in cricket, Otago's Plunket Shield match with
Canterbury finished in an anticlimactic draw today.
With all three results in play and 10 overs remaining, the
crowd at University Oval in Dunedin seemed set for a stirring
finale as Otago needed 50 runs and Canterbury required four
But the home side decided to play it safe and settle for a
draw, denying both the fans and a fast-finishing Wizards
When Otago were set 235 to win with 70 overs to play and rain
in the region, the fate of the match was always in question.
The Volts started conservatively and Aaron Redmond's 61
helped his side reached 117-2, before a quickfire double from
Ben McCord pulled Canterbury back into the match.
With 15 overs to play Otago needed 91 with six wickets in
hand and Jimmy Neesham looked determined to lead them home,
hitting two fours from his first three balls. But his
dismissal, for a run-a-ball 21, and two more wickets saw
Otago apply the brakes and coast to the finish.
The Volts were 33 runs short with three wickets in hand when
Canterbury ran out of overs, drawing to a close one of the
more exciting draws the Plunket Shield has seen.
Earlier in the day, Canterbury resumed their second innings
with a lead of 216 runs and five wickets in hand but Peter
Fulton, a centurion in both innings, was the first man out
after adding only two to his overnight total of 106.
There wasn't much resistance from the Canterbury tail but
there was some history.
On his debut, Canterbury bowler Will Williams achieved
something managed by only three other batsmen in New Zealand
first class cricket.
After chopping a Jacob Duffy delivery into the ground and
seeing it roll back towards the stumps, Williams wheeled
around and palmed away the ball to be given out handled ball.
Williams became the first man to be dismissed in such manner
since former New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin
Vaughan 20 years ago.
Williams' wicket turned out to be the last to fall for
Canterbury, as Fulton called his side in to set up a
thrilling fourth innings.
Otago overtake Central Districts atop the standings thanks to
their five first innings bonus points, while Canterbury climb
off the foot of the table and into fifth spot.