Bowlers put in fine shift

The Otago Volts are content with their start at the Basin Reserve. Photo: Getty Images
The Basin Reserve. Photo: Getty Images
Otago seized the initiative at the Basin Reserve with a quality bowling performance yesterday.

Wellington slumped from 48 for one to 122 for seven in reply to Otago’s first innings total of 265.

But the home side’s last pair put a bit more starch into the score and helped get the defending champions through to 205.

Otago was 36 for one at stumps, and nursing a lead of 96 it will be hoping to expand.

The day started well for the visitors.

Plan A and probably plan B, C and D came together precisely as Otago would have hoped.

Devon Conway, the destroyer of attacks all round the country, was dispatched — and rapidly.

The talented left-hander was curiously caught in two minds. He appeared to be preparing to leave a delivery from Jacob Duffy but made a late decision to play and chopped it on to his stumps.

Duffy struck again in the over, removing Black Caps opener Tom Blundell before he added to his overnight score of 31.

With two major threats removed, Otago applied even more pressure.

Finn Allen (3), Jamie Gibson (19), Lauchie Johns (9) and Ollie Newton (4) were all back in the dressing room before lunch.

Wellington was teetering at 133 for seven.

Former Otago player Michael Bracewell resisted with 37. But it was Ben Sears’ knock of 41 and his 61-run stand with Hamish Bennett (20) for the last wicket which caused Otago the most frustration.

A lead of around 100 evaporated and the 60 run surplus it was left with was fewer than Otago would have hoped at one stage.

Duffy was the pick of the Otago bowlers again. The 26-year-old nabbed four for 52 and two of those were the key wickets.

Travis Muller produced a very tidy shift as well. He took two for 20 from 14.4 overs.

Actually, the entire Otago attack was frugal and piled on pressure through building up the dot balls and maidens.

It would have been an A-plus day with the ball had the last wicket not got away on the Volts.

Otago opener Anaru Kitchen was out playing a hook shot but Camden Hawkins (21 not out) and Dales Phillips (four not out) will look to build on the Volts’ lead on day three today.

Canterbury has moved into a commanding position in its match with Northern Districts in Rangiora.

The home team posted 266 and dismissed the visitors for a paltry 113. Will Williams (five for 26) collected his second first-class bag while Fraser Sheat grabbed four for 32.

Canterbury enforced the follow-on and Northern is 39 for three in its second innings. It needs another 114 runs to make Canterbury bat again.

Auckland and Central Districts spent a second consecutive day watching rain fall at Saxton Oval.


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