Broom to reinforce Otago top-order batting

Otago Volts has bolstered its batting line-up ahead of its T20 opener against Central Districts in Dunedin tomorrow.Former Black Cap Neil Broom and Josh Finnie have been named in the 13-strong squad.

Broom, who has played all three formats for his country, has retired from first-class
cricket but the 38-year-old remains a huge threat in the white-ball formats.

Last week he clouted 80 from 72 balls to help Otago A beat Canterbury A in a one-dayer
in Rangiora.

His presence in the top order will stiffen a batting line-up which has produced some mixed results in the Plunket Shield this season.

Otago slumped to a heavy defeat against an under-strength Northern Districts line-up during a four-day game in Alexandra this week.

Northern had two seamers break down during the game. Neither Brett Hampton nor Scott Kuggeleijn were able to bowl on the last day but Otago capitulated all the same.

The Volts were dismissed for 137
to lose by and innings and 74 runs.

Dale Phillips made 68 not out but no-one else was able to make a substantial contribution.

But Otago’s top order of Hamish Rutherford, Mitchell Renwick, Nick Kelly and Phillips have all posted hundreds this season, so form is not an

Kelly hit a punishing double ton and shapes as a key player, while Rutherford has scored two first-class hundreds and is hitting the ball nicely.

Renwick has been overlooked for tomorrow’s match which probably means Broom and Rutherford will resume their combination at the top of the innings.

Finnie is a limited-overs specialist and has previously been cast in a finishing role. It is one of the hardest gigs in the sport and he struggled last season.

He has whacked a couple of half centuries for Otago A in preparation for the season.

Jacob Duffy will lead the bowling attack which is still missing Michael Rae.

Spinners Michael Rippon and Anaru Kitchen will have a big role to play in keeping the scoring rate down.

Wicketkeeper Max Chu scored his maiden first-class century in his last outing, so it will be interesting to see what impact he can have with the bat in white-ball cricket.

The Central Districts team was unavailable yesterday.


Super Smash
Dunedin, tomorrow, 1.40pm
Otago: Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom, Nick Kelly, Dale Phillips, Anaru Kitchen, Josh Finnie, Michael Rippon, Max Chu, Travis Muller, Angus McKenzie, Jacob Duffy, Jake Gibson, Matt Bacon.
Central Districts (possible): Grey Hay, Bayley Wiggins, Brad Schmulian, Dane Cleaver, Tom Bruce, Doug Bracewell, Ma'ara Ave, Ben Wheeler, Joey Field, Blair Tickner, Seth Rance, Jayden Lennox.

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