Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee (centre) celebrates
his brilliant run-out of Andrew Ellis during Otago's narrow
win against Canterbury at the University Oval last night. A
forlorn-looking Brendon Diamanti bows his head while Lee's
team-mates (from left) Mark Craig, Nick Beard and Neil
Broom congratulate Lee. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
For a so-called dead rubber, Otago's three-wicket win
against Canterbury at the University Oval certainly packed in a
lot of drama.
Volts off-spinner Mark Craig sliced a thick edge down to the
vacant third-man boundary to seal the win from the last ball
of the match.
Otago has now won nine games in a row and is one win away
from what would be almost the perfect season.
The Volts have lost just one twenty/20 match this summer and
will host the final at the Oval on Sunday against either
Wellington or Auckland.
Auckland beat Central Districts by six wickets with a little
help from the Duckworth-Lewis method and will play Wellington
in the capital on Friday for the right to join the Volts in
Craig's streaky boundary was welcomed with thunderous
applause from a crowd of just over 1500, who had turned out
for the midweek game played in gloomy conditions.
No doubt a few extra spectators were lured by the opportunity
to see former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee make his Otago
The paceman was flown in for one match and did not
disappoint. He bowled with plenty of heat and took a wicket
with his final ball.
The feared strike bowler also effected the run-out of Andrew
Ellis. The batsman tried to steal a quick single and Lee, in
his rush to gather the ball off his own bowling, collided
with Ellis and, from the somewhat undignified position of
flat on his back, speared a throw at the stumps.
Otago batsman Aaron Redmond entertained with a 21-ball 50
that featured a couple of towering sixes that must have gone
close to 100m. His breezy innings of 58 gave the Volts the
momentum they needed after a sluggish start in reply to
Canterbury's total of 162 for six.
Ultimately, Otago needed eight runs to win from the last over
and it took an inside edge from the bat of Ian Butler and
Craig's effort from the one ball he faced.