Black Caps and Otago all-rounder Nathan McCullum (left) is
congratulated for reaching 50 by team-mate Ryan ten
Doeschate during their HRV Cup match against Central
Districts at the University Oval yesterday. Otago won by 93
runs. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Otago coach Vaughn Johnson swatted away any suggestions
his side was in sight of a home final.
But after the Volts' 93-run demolition of Central Districts
at the University Oval yesterday, the team has consolidated
its place at the top of the competition table and improved
its net run rate to 1.286.
With three round-robin matches remaining, a place in the
playoffs seems secure but the bigger prize of a home final is
also in reach.
''We're not really interested in the points table,'' Johnson
''As I've said throughout the campaign, if we play well the
results will take care of themselves.
''We were clinical [yesterday]. CD were a little bit hampered
by injury. They had a mishap in the warm-up and that was
disappointing for them. But it was important for us to keep
on a roll and we've done that.''
'Otago has won its last six games on the trot and made no
contest of its match with Central.
The Volts top order made a cautious start but accelerated
through impressive Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate and
Black Caps all-rounder Nathan McCullum (50) to post a
formidable 194 for four.
The visitors could only managed 101 in reply. Otago shared
the wickets but left arm spinner Nick Beard was the pick of
the bowlers with two for 10 from three overs and McCullum
completed a very good day with two for 21 from four overs.
He probably had claims for man of the match but ten Doeschate
has been a revelation for Otago this summer and was
instrumental again. With scores of 65, 60 not out, 47, 61, 26
and 59 not out yesterday, he has been one of the form players
of the competition. Two years ago he was named tournament MVP
when he played for Canterbury. He bought his 50 up with a
massive six on to the roof of the grandstand and has scored
318 runs in six games at an average a shade under 80.
''Tendo is a champion, not only with ball and bat but also
the way he manages the players in the field. He is a big
support for Derek [de Boorder, Otago captain]. The two are
working really well together.''
Central had some bad luck with batsman William Young forced
to pull out through injury. That meant the visitors were
forced to play Adam Milne, who did not bowl because of an
But that was no excuse for a poor performance. The side
dropped at least five catches, some of them hard, some very
hard. But Carl Cachopa also put down a regulation effort
after earlier dropping Hamish Rutherford from the first ball
of the match.
Otago got bogged down during the first four overs. But as
soon as Rutherford got one out of the middle, the runs
started coming easier.
The left-hander whacked 34 from 22 deliveries and helped set
up a platform with fellow opener Neil Broom who scored 25
from 28. Ten Doeschate and McCullum added 95 for the fourth
wicket and helped take 79 runs off the last five overs.
Otago's next match is against Wellington at the Basin Reserve