Otago batsmen Aaron Redmond and Hamish Rutherford run off a
hit by Redmond against Central Districts Stags at Nelson
Park, in Napier, yesterday. Photo by Hawke's Bay Today
Nothing short of a miracle will suffice if Otago is to
avoid defeat in its Plunket Shield match with Central Districts
in Napier, Volts coach Vaughn Johnson says.
After a dismal performance with the ball and two mediocre
efforts with the bat, the Volts are in a dire position.
They led by 18 runs with two wickets in hand at stumps on day
three after being forced to follow on.
Unless there is a dramatic turnaround and some heroics from
the last batsmen, the home side should wrap up the game
without too much fuss this morning.
Central has dominated every session bar the opening one.
Carl Cachopa has had a stunning match. He steered his side
out of early trouble on day one with a fine century and was
involved in the action again yesterday with three for 28 from
Andrew Mathieson was probably the pick of the bowlers,
though, with three for 39 from 19 overs.
Johnson was at a loss to explain why his side has been so
poor during the past three days.
"There is no hiding the fact that we've been totally
outplayed in this match and I'm finding it hard to understand
why, really," he said.
"Leading into this game, everybody had had a couple of scores
in the top six and we'd got maximum bowling points in each
game we'd played.
"We need a miracle to get out of this. We were 120 without
loss and all of a sudden we're eight down. On a wicket that
is pretty flat, that is very disappointing.
"We've got to find a way to get that mental hardness back
before [Otago's game against Auckland on] Sunday."
Otago resumed on 232 for nine needing another 95 to avoid the
Tailender Ian Butler has been productive with the bat so far
this season and added 20 to his overnight score of 53. But he
was left stranded on his highest first-class tally when No11
Blair Soper was undone for a 32-ball duck.
Otago had managed 257 and trailed by 219 runs. Central
captain Kieran Noema-Barnett enforced the follow-on and Otago
made a solid start to its second innings with Aaron Redmond
and Hamish Rutherford both posting half-centuries in an
opening stand of 120.
As so often happens, a single breakthrough triggered a mini
Andrew Mathieson removed Rutherford for 55 and then Cachopa
claimed Redmond's wicket.
Part-timer Jeet Raval struck with his leg breaks, removing
Neil Broom for six and Sam Wells for 24 as Otago slumped to
171 for five.
More misery followed with Jimmy Neesham (17) and Derek de
Boorder (28) getting starts but failing to go on with it.
Mark Craig (20 not out) and Jacob Duffy (six not out)
provided some stubborn resistance to help Otago reach 237 for
eight and take the game into a fourth day.
• At stumps on day three in the Plunket Shield game between
Auckland and Wellington at Eden Park yesterday, Wellington
was 145 for two in its second innings and trailed Auckland by