Foxcroft ton gets Otago close but match ends in draw

Otago batter Dean Foxcroft celebrates bringing up his century against Auckland in their Plunket...
Otago batter Dean Foxcroft celebrates bringing up his century against Auckland in their Plunket Shield fixture at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Otago captain Dean Foxcroft put up a colossal fight on behalf of his side.

He was a metre or so away from being able to continue the battle.

But his departure for a wonderful knock of 174 ushered in the end of the Volts’ bold chase.

The last pair of Thorn Parkes and Jarrod McKay had to see off 40 balls between them to secure a draw against Auckland at the University Oval yesterday.

There was a lot of drama for a draw, though.

The Volts needed to score 198 from the last session in pursuit of 387 to secure an unlikely win and they gave it a decent crack, reaching 327 for nine.

Volts coach Dion Ebrahim described it as a tense finish.

"It was an outstanding innings by Foxy", he said.

"He shared in a couple of really crucial partnerships ... and that really got us into a position where we were able to push for a win."

That part was pleasing but the bowling unit leaked too many runs on Saturday and that proved costly.

"Yep, we could have bowled better. But credit to Auckland and Robbie O’Donnell, who batted outstandingly."

Auckland dominated play on Saturday.

The Volts were 244 for six at stumps on day two and were dismissed for 319.

Newcomer Harjot Johal (four for 53) and spinner Louis Delport (three for 87) shone.

Auckland had a 91-run first innings lead and they took advantage of some poor bowling to rattle on quick runs.

Robbie O’Donnell stroked 151 not out from 146 balls, and his brother, Will O’Donnell, made 70.

The Aces declared at 295 for four, setting Otago an enormous target.

The Volts resumed yesterday morning on seven without loss and were quickly in trouble.

Opener Jacob Cumming was bowled for five. Johal pitched the ball up and invited the drive, nipped it back and sent Cumming’s off stump cartwheeling.

Dale Phillips cracked a lofted drive to Sean Solia and had to depart for six.

The Volts went to lunch at 90 for three.

Foxcroft was well set at the crease and Otago’s hopes rested with the out-of-form captain.

The right-hander has had a tough campaign and needed the odd slice of luck.

He shook off the odd confident appeal and on 71 bisected wicketkeeper and first slip with an edge.

But there were a series of nice drives through the covers and a couple on on-drives to serve as a reminder of his class.

He had to graft hard and was rewarded with his second first-class century.

The 25-year-old swept a delivery from Delport to the boundary to bring up the milestone.

After the tea break he switched into one-day mode and Luke Georgeson showed more intent.

The impossible was shrinking. The partnership was growing. A T20-style finish to the game was shaping up.

Georgeson holed out for 64, bringing an end to the 159-run stand.

Foxcroft kept going. He swung away a six to bring up his 150 and he clobbered the ball halfway up the embankment to bring up the team 300.

The Volts needed 80 off the last 10 overs to seal an astonishing win.

But Foxcroft’s valiant effort ended just shy of the rope at long-on. He got the bottom of the bat and the ball flew as far as Ryan Harrison.

Parkes, who was supposed to open but spent most of the day in a moon boot with a suspected sprained ankle, limped out at No10 to help save the match.



First innings 410


First innings 319


Second innings

W O'Donnell run out (Phillips) 70

S Solia b Muller 7

M Chapman c Chu b Muller 2

R O'Donnell not out 151

G Worker run out (Phillips) 52

C Fletcher not out 7

Extras  (6w) 6

Total  (4 wkts dec, 61 overs) 295

Fall:  1-24, 2-26, 3-124, 4-268.

Bowling:  J Duffy 10-1-41-0 (1w), T Muller 11-3-40-2 (1w), J McKay 9-0-48-0, B Lockrose 14-0-70-0, L Georgeson 12-1-61-0 (4w), D Foxcroft 5-0-35-0.


Second innings

J Cumming b Johal 5

T Muller b Solia 18

D Phillips c Solia b Johal 6

D Foxcroft c sub (Harrison) b Ferns 174

J Todd c R O'Donnell b Ferns 20

L Georgeson c Solia b Johal 64

M Chu b Delport 28

B Lockrose b Delport 4

J Duffy c Solia b Delport 0

T Parkes not out 1

J McKay not out 0

Extras  (2lb, 1w, 4nb) 7

Total  (9 wickets, 103 overs) 327

Fall:  1-15, 2-23, 3-55, 4-101, 5-260, 6-316, 7-325, 8-325, 9-326.

Bowling:  D Ferns 21-6-66-2 (1w), H Johal 18-5-64-3, L Delport 31-6-97-3 (2nb), J McKenzie 7-2-23-0, A Olliver 12-2-37-0 (2nb), S Solia 6-1-13-1, W O'Donnell 8-2-25-0.

Result:  Draw.


—  There was a huge turnaround in fortunes at Rangiora. Canterbury put on 526 but fell over for 109 in their second dig.

Former Otago all-rounder Nathan Smith helped open the door for Wellington with six for 36. Smith (75) then teamed up with Muhammad Abbas (110) in an unbroken match-winning 148-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

At Bay Oval, Central Districts had reached 117 for two in their second innings before agreeing to a draw with Northern Districts.