Otago demolished Canterbury by eight wickets in the State Shield semifinal at the Village Green in Christchurch today.
Northern Districts might be the form team but Otago has more big-game experience, coach Mike Hesson says.
With hindsight one can confidently say Wellington all-rounder James Franklin timed his match-winning effort in yesterday's State Shield clash perfectly.
The reunion will have to wait because there is just no room for friendship on the field, Otago opening bowler Neil Wagner says.
For a team game, cricket so often comes down to a good performance by one or two players.
If you had glanced into the Otago dressing room following its dramatic one-wicket loss to Wellington in Invercargill on Sunday, you could have been forgiven for thinking the defending champion had just been eliminated from the State Shield.
Otago has 5 million reasons to pull a lot harder in the tug of war for Brendon McCullum's services.
Otago might have secured a semifinal appearance but its final round-robin match against Wellington in Invercargill tomorrow remains crucial.
New Zealand Cricket Players' Association executive manager Heath Mills has backed the decision to release Brendon McCullum to play for New South Wales tonight.
The Otago Sparks have to improve their depth if they are going to be more competitive in the future, player-coach Clare Taylor says.
Don't blame Brendon McCullum. Blame the rules.
For once, the rugby will be the curtain-raiser.
Otago ended a two-game losing streak with a comprehensive 125-run victory over Canterbury at the University Oval yesterday.
Having gone 20 years without a major trophy, Otago is not ready to loosen its grip on the one-day title it earned last year.
Otago posted its second equal largest one-day score amassing 311 for eight in its match with Central Districts at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth today.
Otago Sparks player-coach Clare Taylor is poised to pull stumps on her coaching career, citing a need for a change.
Otago has a tailor-made plan for a Taylor - Ross Taylor, that is.
The retirement of Matthew Hayden has left Australia searching for its next great opening batsman.
Otago had to settle for two competition points when its State Shield match with Auckland was rained off without a ball being bowled at the University Oval on Saturday.
It's not Bjorn Borg versus John McEnroe or Alain Prost versus Ayrton Senna, but the Otago-Auckland clash has turned into one of the great rivalries on the New Zealand cricket domestic scene.