Canterbury wicket keeper Brad Cachopa (left) and bowler
Cole McConchie appeal successfully to play it safe for lbw
against Otago batsman Michael Bracewell during the Plunket
Shield match at the University Oval yesterday.Photo by
Nothing gets in the way of a thrilling finish like the
fear of losing.
With an hour remaining in the Plunket Shield match between
Otago and Canterbury at the University Oval yesterday, both
sides had an opportunity to win the match.
Otago needed 65 runs on a pitch which was difficult to score
on, and Canterbury needed five wickets on a surface on which
you had to really battle to get breakthroughs.
It was shaping as a terrific finish but Otago pulled out of a
meaningful chase when Neil Broom holed out at midwicket.
With seven batsmen back in the dressing room and 50 runs
still required, the home side ran out of conviction.
It was a disappointing finish to a game which promised drama
to the end but Otago coach Vaughn Johnson was unapologetic.
"I had a debutant and 18-year-old left to bat and I didn't
think we had the firepower at that stage to bring it home,"
"I thought we played a lot of cricket in this game and I
didn't want to lose the game.
"We gave it a decent crack until we were seven down and
decided that was it."
Set 235 to win, Otago remained in touch with the required run
rate. Some overs were lost to poor weather but, to
Canterbury's credit, it got through more than the minimum
The visiting side was keen for the win and Peter Fulton did a
fine job of dangling the carrot to keep Otago interested in
Canterbury resumed at 234 for five, looking to build on its
lead of 216.
But its best-laid plans quickly unravelled. Fulton was not
able to add much to his overnight total of 106. Clearly
looking to force the pace, he was undone on 108 when he
spooned a catch to point.
Cole McConchie had his off stump knocked out of the ground by
Jacob Duffy and Willie Lonsdale was brilliantly run out by
Darren Broom, who hit the stumps from side on 30m out.
Then there was some light relief when 20-year-old debutant
Will Williams was out handled the ball.
It was only the fourth time in New Zealand first-class
cricket someone had been dismissed in that fashion.
The rain arrived as Williams headed to the dressing room for
the inevitable ribbing from his team-mates. Canterbury
declared during the stoppage.
The Volts had an early setback with Hamish Rutherford nicking
out to the off spinner Tim Johnston, and went to lunch at 31
Both Michael Bracewell (23) and Aaron Redmond (61) looked to
play positively but wickets fell when batsman looked to
attack in the match.
Bracewell was beaten in flight by McConchie and adjudged lbw.
Redmond brought up his 31st first-class half century but
joined a host of others who have fallen lbw in this game.
This time it was the busy Ben McCord who got a delivery to
nip back. He struck again quickly, trapping Ian Butler in
front before the all-rounder could get established.
He had been promoted to No 5 to attack the bowling and next
man in, Jimmy Neesham, had the same approach. He cracked four
fours in a brief stay before he, too, was also trapped lbw.
While Neil Broom remained in the middle, Otago had a good
chance of winning. He was closing in on a half century and
looking to play more expansively when he lofted a catch to
And that was it. Mark Craig and Darren Broom blocked out the
next nine overs.