Big finish in round-robin needed for Otago to get home final

Otago can still secure a home final for the one-day competition but it will need a very big finish to the round-robin.

The Volts are in fifth place with four wins from eight games.

But the six-team competition is awfully tight. Canterbury lead with 22 points from Northern Districts, who are also on 22 points.

Auckland is in third place with 18 points. But Wellington (18 points) and Otago (16 points) remain firmly in contention.

The top team gets direct entry to the final while the second and third-ranked sides play an elimination final, with the winner earning the right to progress to the final.

Central Districts (7 points) is the only team out of the running but can still play a spoiling role.

The final two rounds of the competition are doubleheaders. Otago play Wellington at the Basin Reserve, Canterbury host Auckland in Rangiora and Central Districts travel to Hamilton to play Northern Districts.

The games are being staged on Friday and Sunday.

With a maximum of 10 competition points still available, there are a lot of scenarios still in play.

Otago has four teams ahead of it so has to be focused on winning both games against Wellington and perhaps picking up a bonus point or two.

The Volts can get to a maximum of 26 points.

They will have a keen eye on the results between Canterbury and Auckland.

Probably the easiest route for Otago would be for Canterbury to win both those games — that way the defending champions are eliminated.

If Central Districts then upsets Northern Districts in both games, Otago could slip into second place.

There is still a way for the Volts to get to the top of the standings, though. Northern Districts would need to drop both games and Canterbury and Auckland would have to split their series.

If Canterbury was not able to secure a bonus point and Otago recorded two bonus-point wins against Wellington and got its net run rate past Canterbury’s, it would move to the top of the table and secure a home venue for the final.

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