Captain laments ‘key moments’ gone wrong

It has been the key moment that the Otago Volts’ captain feels the team has let itself down in.

There have been flashes of sublime play.

Last weekend was the most recent example of that.

A 58-run opening stand gave the side a great platform.

Then it folded to be bowled out for 130.

Five wickets in nine balls got it back into the game with the ball.

But it could not finish the job, Auckland chasing down the total to condemn the Volts to a seventh loss from nine Super Smash games.

It was symptomatic of the way captain Hamish Rutherford felt the season had gone for the Volts.

Turning around that trend will be a focus for the team as it hosts the Canterbury Kings in its last twenty20 game of the summer, at the University Oval.

"We just haven’t managed to win the key moments," Rutherford said.

"Whether it be a dropped catch, or a cliche bang-bang with the bat, or two set batsmen losing their wicket, we’ve managed to lose those moments.

"If you look at all the games, it’s those moments that have cost us in each of them. We’ve been in the hunt there or thereabouts, whether it be a dropped catch, or something like that, and it hasn’t gone our way, we’ve fallen on the wrong side.

"The other thing is winning’s a habit and unfortunately losing can also be a habit. We’re probably in that run at the minute.

"While there’s been some pleasing performances, we haven’t been able to really nail it down.

"If we can finish in the weekend nice and strong and take that into February, it will leave us in good stead for that 50-over competition."

Matt Bacon returns for the Volts, having passed a fitness test yesterday, in place of Jake Gibson.

It is the only change to the line-up.

The game has little consequence for the Volts, who are unable to get off the bottom of the table.

A win would be a boost going forward into the rest of the summer, though.

The Kings are a quality team and are guaranteed a spot in next week’s playoffs.

They have a bowling attack which includes Matt Henry and Todd Astle, while Black Caps test opener Tom Latham has rejoined the line-up, and star all-rounder Daryl Mitchell also features.

Despite that, Rutherford said motivation remained high within the Volts to finish the Super Smash on a high.

"To finish the comp well and play some decent cricket in front of our home fans.

"Hopefully, we get a nice crowd out. We haven’t had many home games, so it’ll be good to get out at Uni Oval.

"And just to take the momentum with a good performance into the remainder of the white ball season.

"We’re well-placed in the 50-over comp, so it’ll be good to put in a good performance. If guys get some good form with bat and ball in the field, get some good energy heading into February."

The game is scheduled to begin at 1.40pm and follows on from the Otago Sparks match against the Canterbury Magicians.

Super Smash

University Oval, tomorrow, 1.40pm

Otago Volts: Hamish Rutherford, Matt Bacon, Neil Broom, Max Chu, Jacob Duffy, Llew Johnson, Nick Kelly, Anaru Kitchen, Angus McKenzie, Dale Phillips, Michael Rae, Michael Rippon.

Canterbury Kings: (probable) Cole McConchie, Todd Astle, Chad Bowes, Leo Carter, Blake Coburn, Cam Fletcher, Mitch Hay, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Edward Nuttall, William O’Rourke, Henry Shipley.

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