Otago pays dearly for poor batting

Otago was only going to lose by a spectacular collapse.

And a spectacular collapse was what unfolded.

Otago was skittled for 137 on day four of its Plunket Shield match against Northern Districts at Molyneux Park yesterday.

It came a day after Northern had made batting on the Alexandra pitch look ridiculously easy.

Northern added six runs to its overnight total, losing two wickets early yesterday, to finish on 553.

It set the platform for the visitors to win by an innings and 74 runs.

Only Dale Phillips offered any real resilience for Otago.

He batted for nearly six hours, seeing off 179 deliveries, to finish on 68 not out.

No-one else scored more than 16 and, on a day when batting time was the big goal, Mitch Renwick was the only other to last an hour.

Northern spinner Josef
Walker proved dangerous, taking four wickets for 47 runs in a quality display right throughout the day.

Opening bowler Zac Gibson was similarly effective.

He cleaned up the lower order to return three for 30.

It was in-form Northern opening bowler Brett Randell who took the first scalp, though.

He took just the six balls to trap Hamish Rutherford lbw for four.

Mitch Renwick followed for 11 when he was bowled by Walker, before Nick Kelly was needlessly run out without facing a ball, after a slick piece of fielding by Walker.

It left Otago 33 for three early in the day and, while Dale Phillips and Anaru Kitchen offered some resistance, Randell picked up another wicket when he had Kitchen lbw for 16.

Phillips continued to hold up one end.

At the other, wickets fell regularly after lunch, despite Otago’s best efforts.

Randell, Gibson and Walker all split wickets between them after lunch, as Otago slipped to 125 for seven at tea.

From there it took Northern less than 30 minutes to take the remaining wickets, condemning Otago to its second loss of the campaign.

The result leaves Otago in fourth on the table, while Northern jumps to second on average points — which is being used to account for its delayed start.

Otago’s attention will now turn to the white ball and coloured clothing.

A double-header involving both the Sparks and Volts against Central Districts is next on the schedule, at the University Oval on Sunday.

The Sparks will face the Hinds at 10.10am, while the Volts will play the Stags at 1.40pm.


Disappointing, if not embarrassing outcome, given it was a road.
Players all too ready to burn their Plunket Shield season. Is this a team worth supporting?

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