Rutherford back but not today

Hamish Rutherford is still recovering from a head knock her received while playing for New...
Hamish Rutherford is still recovering from a head knock her received while playing for New Zealand A against England in Whangerei. Photo: Getty Images
Experienced opener Hamish Rutherford will probably miss Otago’s match against Canterbury at Hagley Oval today.

But the 30-year-old left-hander is free from concussion symptoms and is expected to play a part later in the week.

The former test opener was hit by England fast bowler Jofra Archer earlier this month, while playing for New Zealand A.

He missed the Volts’ opening two games but has returned just in time for a key period in the campaign.

The next three rounds of the Ford Trophy are all being played in Canterbury this week.

The Volts start with Canterbury today then move to Lincoln on Wednesday, for a match against Auckland. They will complete the stretch with a rematch against Wellington at Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Friday.

The competition will take a break at the end of the week. The teams will turn their focus to the Super Smash which gets under way on December 13.

The Volts have named a squad of 13 players. It is same 12 which fronted for the five-wicket loss to Wellington in Queenstown last week, plus Rutherford.

Otago coach Rob Walter said Rutherford was a definite for Wednesday.

"Once you’ve been cleared by the doctor there is three days you’ve got to do progressive training on. Monday’s too tight for that," Walter said.

Rutherford has been in such good touch and has got himself back into contention for the national side. His presence will strengthen the line-up.

He will join Nick Kelly at the top. Kelly has been impressive in his first two games for the province. He scored a century in the win against Northern Districts and top-scored with 65 in the loss to Wellington.

Add the likes of Neil Broom, and the promising Dean Foxcroft, and Otago’s top five looks solid.

Fast bowler Michael Rae remains sidelined with his hip complaint.

"He is coming on well but it is still difficult to know when he’ll be able to run in and bowl at 100%. He is certainly improving daily which is a good thing," Walter said.

In his absence, Blair Soper will get another opportunity. The left-armer got a breakthrough in his maiden over in the format but was a little wayward.

"It was his debut, so I assume there was a little bit of nerves. He provided a breakthrough which we needed but, like most of our bowling line-up, was not right on the mark.

"He was a little too full, I guess. But he’ll use that as an experience and will be better next time."

Walter said Otago won two of the three games it played during the same stretch last year and "we’ll definitely look to go one better this time".

That will set the team up nicely for the back-end of the tournament when it will host three of the five remaining games in Dunedin.

Otago v Canterbury

Hagley Oval, 11am

Otago: Nick Kelly, Mitch Renwick, Dean Foxcroft, Neil Broom, Nathan Smith, Anaru Kitchen, Josh Finnie, Michael Rippon, Jacob Duffy (captain), Matt Bacon, Blair Soper, Dale Phillips, Hamish Rutherford.

Canterbury (possible): Cole McConchie, Chad Bowes, Jack Boyle, Andrew Ellis, Cameron Fletcher, Andrew Hazeldine, Ken McClure, Steve Murdoch, Ed Nuttall, Henry Shipley, Theo van Woerkom, Will Williams.

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