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James Neesham and Michael Rippon combined to put on 121 as the Volts managed 264 in their first innings against Canterbury at the University Oval.
With Canterbury 11 for one at stumps, Otago holds a 28-run lead heading into day three today.
It was the all-rounders Neesham and Rippon that delivered, though, fighting back after another poor performance from the top order.
Neesham hit six fours and three sixes on the way to a-run-a-ball 79, while Rippon dug in to score a slow-going 55.
It was what was needed, though, as they took the team from 131 for five to 252 for six.
Earlier, things had looked bleaker.
Beginning the day at five for one, Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom started well and got the side through to 52.
However, the partnership was broken when Andrew Ellis dismissed Broom lbw for 32.
Rutherford followed 10 overs later for 25, being caught hooking off the bowling of Andrew Hazeldine.
Anaru Kitchen was caught on 22 with the side on 117 and when Rob Nicol retired hurt for 12, the side was essentially five down.
Derek de Boorder then edged one to wicketkeeper Cameron Fletcher for 20, departing with Otago on just 131.
However, Neesham and Rippon stemmed the flow of wickets, then began to pile on the runs.
While the tail was unable to fire, it hung around long enough for Rippon to add 11 runs.
Canterbury's wickets were evenly shared, with Ellis, Hazeldine, Will Williams and Theo van Workom all taking two each.
Otago had time for just 4.2 overs before stumps, but it was able to make them count.
Warren Barnes snaffled the wicket of Chad Bowes for three, breaching the opener's defence with pace to take the bails off.
Michael Davison will resume on eight this morning, while Williams is yet to score.
In other games, Northern Districts is 331 for six in the second innings heading into the final day of its match against Central Districts.
That sees it lead by 366 after a low-scoring first innings.
In the other game, Auckland leads Wellington by 254 runs at 124 for five in its second innings at the end of day two.