Otago gets its chance under the bright lights at the big
ground tonight but for coach Vaughn Johnson, it is the same old
story - play the basics and play as a team.
The Volts play the Auckland Aces at Eden Park tonight, with
the sides fresh off a tight twenty/20 match just under a week
In a quirk of the draw, they face off again for the second
time in five days, with Otago having won the previous
encounter in Queenstown by 13 runs.
Johnson said the Volts were performing well but were not
getting carried away after securing a fourth win in a row by
''I think we are doing a little bit better than all right.
You can get on a roll in these sort of games but I don't
think you can ever get ahead of yourself and look too far
down the track,'' Johnson said.
''We just have to make sure we play well and then the results
will take care of themselves. We showed in Queenstown when we
lost a few early but then Tendo [Ryan ten Doeschate] and
Neesham [Jimmy Neesham] got in and put on a 100-run
''It is that sort of game where you can be bowled out really
quickly for nothing or you can go out there and get
Playing on Eden Park offered something different, Johnson
said, with the dimensions of the ground giving challenges to
bowlers and the setting of fields.
''I would think 180 is the minimum you would have to get on
that ground. But conditions come into it and it is also a
drop-in pitch which can make a difference.''
The angles of the pitch mean it can be a difficult ground for
bowlers should they be slightly wide in their delivery. It is
not a huge distance for straight hits, either.
Otago will be without Black Caps all-rounder Nathan McCullum,
who has a hamstring injury. Sam Wells and Iain Robertson come
into a squad of 13.
Johnson said it was always exciting to play under lights at a
big ground such as Eden Park and the team was looking forward
to getting involved.
Auckland has retained the same 13 players which lost in
Queenstown and it is shaping up to be an important match for
the defending champion.
The Aces have won only two games from five and need to stay
handy to be in with a chance of making the finals. The likes
of Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme are due to make an
impact, while English import Phil Mustard put together an
impressive knock at the last home game.
Otago has won its games through a combination of good batting
and bowling. If one has not fired, the other has come to the
Import ten Doeschate again looms as the key man for Otago,
while young bowlers Jacob Duffy and James Fuller will again
have to step up.
Whatever happens tonight, the Otago players will not have a
lot of time to dwell on the result. They will get on a plane
early tomorrow morning and may have an optional practice
tomorrow afternoon before taking on the Central Stags at the
University Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Auckland, tonight, 7pm
Otago: Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom,
Ryan ten Doeschate, Michael Bracewell, Sam Wells, Jimmy
Neesham, Iain Robertson, Ian Butler, James Fuller, Derek de
Boorder (captain), Jacob Duffy, Nick Beard.
Auckland: Gareth Hopkins (captain), Andre Adams,
Michael Bates, Craig Cachopa, Colin de Grandhomme, Donovan
Grobbelaar, Anaru Kitchen, Kyle Mills, Phil Mustard, Matt
Quinn, Bhupinder Singh, Lou Vincent, Reece Young.
Points: Northern Districts (played seven) 20, Otago
(five) 16, Wellington (seven) 16, Auckland (five) 8,
Canterbury (six) 8, Central Districts (six) 4.