Bowlers set up second win for Volts

Wellington Firebirds batsman Matt Taylor ducks to avoid a bouncer delivered by Otago Volts bowler Warren Barnes only to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder, during a Ford Trophy match at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. Photos: Gera
Wellington Firebirds batsman Matt Taylor ducks to avoid a bouncer delivered by Otago Volts bowler Warren Barnes only to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder, during a Ford Trophy match at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. Photos:...
Otago Volts bowler Warren Barnes.
Otago Volts bowler Warren Barnes.

Change of format. Change of fortune.

Otago chased its three-wicket win against Canterbury on Sunday with a comprehensive six-wicket win against Wellington at the University Oval yesterday.

The Volts slumped to four consecutive losses in the Plunket Shield but look better equipped in the one-day tournament.

They share top spot with Auckland after two rounds.

All-rounder Shawn Hicks played a key role in the comfortable win with a career-best knock of 83 not out.

Anaru Kitchen provided the pizzazz with a rapid 50, and premier batsman Neil Broom chipped in with a solid innings of 48.

But the bowlers set up the win. Wellington was dismissed for a middling total of 253. That was probably 30 runs shy of a more competitive total.

Jacob Duffy and Jack Hunter took three wickets each. But Rob Nicol picked up the crucial wicket of the dangerous Hamish Marshall, and very part-time left-arm spinner Hamish Rutherford broke Wellington's best partnership when he tempted former Otago batsman Michael Bracewell into a big shot and had him caught at deep midwicket.

''They definitely were [big moments],'' Nicol said.

''We were trying to restrict the performance of certain batsmen on the other side because scores of 50-plus really hurt you.

''Ruds' [Rutherford's] wicket was pretty exceptional in terms of that.''

It was actually Rutherford's maiden one-day wicket. Having made the breakthrough he was replaced at the crease safe in the knowledge he had landed a hammer blow.

Bracewell (58) and wicketkeeper Devon Conway featured in a valuable partnership of 81 runs, while Marshall (45) had earlier been racing towards 50 when he over-balanced trying to sweep a delivery.

Nicol dipped the ball under his bat and knocked out his off stump.

Duffy mopped up the tail but Conway kept his wicket intact. His undefeated 74 would have inspired some hope in a Wellington bowling unit which was in dominant form during the Plunket Shield last month.

Otago's chase began with some sparkling shots. Nicol blasted five fours in a cameo of 23. Rutherford hit everything in the middle but on 29 scooped the ball to short midwicket.

The game went into a holding pattern with Broom and Hicks quietly chipping away at the target.

Kitchen brought back the oomph when he came in at the fall of Broom's wicket. The right-hander clouted three sixes and four fours on his way to a 33-ball half century.

In the other games, Auckland's Colin Munro smashed 174 not out from 118 balls to help his side clinch a seven-wicket win against Canterbury at Eden Park Outer Oval.

The visiting side posted 277 for nine but Munro clipped six sixes and 22 fours in an extraordinary innings.

At Cobham Oval, in Whangarei, Jesse Ryder (107) and George Worker (96) put on 205 for the second wicket to guide Central Districts to 334 for eight.

Northern Districts fell 85 runs short. Adam Milne, Blair Tickner and Ajax Patel claimed three wickets apiece for Central.

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