Cautious approach to Rutherford

Hamish Rutherford
Hamish Rutherford
Otago is hopeful Hamish Rutherford will be back for its next game but he will have to go through a concussion protocol first.

Otago arrived back in Dunedin yesterday afternoon after its first-up victory over Northern Districts in Hamilton on Sunday.

Rutherford has returned from Whangarei where he played for New Zealand A in its three-day game against England.

Rutherford made 59 for New Zealand A in its first innings on Friday but was hit by England pace bowler Jofra Archer in the process.

The opening batsman continued to bat after he was hit before being dismissed by Archer. He did not return to the batting crease in the second innings after being checked by an independent doctor and was withdrawn from the match on concussion grounds. He was replaced by Scott Kuggeleijn.

Rutherford has picked up other concussions in his career so one would expect a cautious approach to getting him back on to the playing field.

Otago coach Rob Walter said yesterday Rutherford seemed to be making a good recovery but no decision would be made on his playing on Thursday until tomorrow. Otago takes on Wellington in Queenstown on Thursday.

The most important thing for Rutherford was getting him right for the game no matter how long that took, Walter said.

Otago will head to Queenstown with plenty of confidence, coming off a 28-run win over Northern Districts. The game ended early because of rain and victory for Otago was earned through the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system.

Opener Nick Kelly made a century in the Otago win and combined in a 119-run stand with Josh Finnie which helped the side through to a hefty total of 282 in 50 overs.

It was Kelly's first one-day game for Otago so he has made a great start for the Volts in the 50-over game.

With a top-order batsman making such a significant score, followed by a big partnership in the middle, and some hitting near the end, such a big total was always going to be difficult to reach.

Walter praised the effort of Kelly and said Finnie was just continuing on from last year when he showed real ability in the one-day game.

Nathan Smith picked up two wickets at the top of the order to put Northern on its heels but Walter praised the total effort of all the bowlers, saying all contributed.

Michael Rippon, who has been in a good spell of form, picked up three wickets with his left-arm wrist spinners.

The side heads to Queenstown tomorrow to get ready to play Wellington.

Walter said the side was looking forward to playing in Queenstown. The team had trained in the resort, enjoyed the town and it was also a quality wicket.

Wellington was beaten by Auckland at Eden Park on Sunday.


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