Duffy leads by example as Otago Volts take charge

Otago Volts co-captain Jacob Duffy bowls at the University of Otago Oval as Auckland batsman Glenn Phillips looks on during play on day two of their Plunket Shield game yesterday. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Otago Volts co-captain Jacob Duffy bowls at the University of Otago Oval as Auckland batsman Glenn Phillips looks on during play on day two of their Plunket Shield game yesterday. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The Otago Volts are in the box seat after two days of the last game of the season.

The side has Auckland 177 for the loss of six wickets, still 306 runs behind Otago's hefty total of 483 at the University of Otago Oval.

Otago has had a season to forget in the Plunket Shield, and sits at the bottom of the table. But it won its first game last week and is now in a good position to push on to finish the season in style.

It was all doom and gloom for the Volts after six straight losses to start the season but it came back well in the penultimate game of the season and is again performing well in this game, admittedly playing the second team in a row which has little to play for.

The home side resumed yesterday on 320 for six wickets and got through to 483.

The tail well and truly wagged, with good contributions from all-rounder Christi Viljoen and young wicketkeeper Max Chu. Viljoen made 56 while Chu made his highest score at this level, 41 off 117 balls.

The left-hander was out in somewhat unusual fashion, hitting his wicket when he went back to a ball from former Otago off-spinner Will Somerville.

The biggest blows for Otago came from co-captain Jacob Duffy, who hit a brisk 71 off 53 balls in just over an hour. He hit the ball over the rope five times and scored a total of 46 runs in boundaries.

It was Duffy's highest score at first-class level and the first time he made a half century.

Otago got the full four batting bonus points for a rare time this season.

In reply, Auckland started slowly and lost two wickets relatively early on. Openers Sean Solia and Graeme Beghin got through to 23 but then were both dismissed on that score, with Nathan Smith knocking Solia's off stump out of the ground.

Duffy got the other wicket.

Willie O'Donnell and Robbie O'Donnell came and went and Auckland was in trouble at 100 for four wickets.

Glenn Phillips held the innings together but he was caught in the slips by Hamish Rutherford for 92 at the end of the day.

In the other game in Hamilton, Central Districts got through to 281 in its first innings which gave it an 87-run lead over Northern Districts. The home side batted again and was 99 without loss at stumps.

The other game between Canterbury and Wellington was cancelled.

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