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The Volts struggled last summer, finishing last in all three formats.
But if yesterday's effort is an indication of the campaign ahead, then the side can look forward to improved results.
Otago dismissed Canterbury for 182 on the opening day of its four-day warm-up match in Alexandra.
The home side is 81 for two in reply with Brad Wilson nicely set on 29.
All six Otago bowlers claimed at least one scalp with paceman Warren Barnes picking up three for 21 from 10.1 overs.
The sight of the injury-prone Barnes tearing in and taking wickets with the red ball was a pleasing watch for coach Rob Walter.
Barnes worked hard during the off-season and Walter said it was great to see him get some rewards.
Spinner Mark Craig was sidelined last season but made a solid return to the bowling crease with two for 36, while Black Caps left-armer Neil Wagner also picked up two wickets.
New arrivals Matt Bacon and Shawn Hicks grabbed a wicket each, while Michael Rae removed top-scorer Cameron Fletcher for 36.
Black Caps all-rounder Jimmy Neesham will not bowl in the match.
He has a slight niggle in his lower back but is bowling in the nets.
Walter said while Otago bowled ''fairly well'', Canterbury played an aggressive brand of cricket which presented his side with opportunities.
The pitch is expected to be at its best for batting today and Otago will look to press its advantage.
The Volts are fielding a strong team but have more in the bank.
Left-arm leg spinner Michael Rippon has been in South Africa where he played in two ICC World Cricket League Championship games for the Netherlands against Kenya.
He took three for 30 in the first one-dayer and scored an unbeaten half-century to steer his side to a six-wicket win.
He is expected to arrive in New Zealand tomorrow.
Former Black Cap Rob Nicol is with the Volts in Alexandra but is not playing in the match. He is recovering from an Achilles injury but is not far away from being match fit
Strike bowler Jacob Duffy had a full season in England and is fit but was overlooked with Walter wanting to provide opportunities for the likes of Barnes and Bacon.