Tail’s swashbuckling, Georgeson haul save Volts

Andrew Hazeldine. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Andrew Hazeldine. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Luke Georgeson. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Luke Georgeson. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Andrew Hazeldine and Luke Georgeson chose the perfect time to produce career-best performances on Saturday.

And it was not, as one might have suspected, the former starring with the ball and the latter delivering with the bat.

Hazeldine scored his maiden List-A half-century and Georgeson posted his first five-wicket bag to guide Otago to a gutsy 15-run win over Wellington at the Basin Reserve.

The Volts were dead and buried before Hazeldine (54 not out) and Jacob Duffy (27) put on 79 for the 10th wicket, an Otago record against all sides, and Wellington’s chase was blown to smithereens by Georgeson’s penetrative bowling.

Fears a tally of 226 would be little challenge were assuaged when the Firebirds, in with a shout as long as Troy Johnson was at the crease, crumbled to 211 all out in the 49th over.

The Volts had made a grim start at the Basin with Georgeson, Jacob Cumming and captain Dean Foxcroft all falling in single figures.

Dale Phillips started the rescue job in belligerent style, whacking seven fours and a six in his 57, and adding 73 for the fourth wicket with Thorn Parkes (30).

Then it all went pear-shaped again.

Otago were not looking flash at 147 for nine when Hazeldine and Duffy, having nothing to lose, started swinging their bats — and they did so rather effectively.

Hazeldine, with a previous best of 41, started the fun with three consecutive boundaries — the first a massive six over long on — from the bowling of former Otago man Nathan Smith.

He then brought up his 50 off 24 balls with an audacious six over the square boundary off Black Caps bowler Ben Sears.

Duffy’s cameo featured a clipped full toss off Adam Milne for six and another long blast off the same bowler over long on.

When Duffy fell, the pair had sailed past the previous Otago 10th-wicket record of 67 set by Smith and Michael Rae, also against Wellington, three summers ago.

Logan van Beek led the Firebirds with three for 27 off nine tricky overs, backed up by braces from Sears, Milne and Peter Younghusband.

Johnson powered the Wellington reply with a classy 83 off 109 balls, smashing four fours and five sixes.

He got a little isolated, though, and Smith (37 off 44 balls) was the only other batter to begin to prosper.

Georgeson relished a chance to dominate from the bowling crease against his former team, and got his tail up once he lured former Otago batter Nick Kelly into an attempted hook that lofted up to Cumming.

His four other wickets also involved catches as he finished with career-best figures of five for 37 off 10 overs.

Otago have regained some real confidence with back-to-back wins in the competition, and are in the middle of a dogfight for playoff spots with two rounds to play.

The Volts are technically fourth, tied with Central on 17 points — but with a slightly inferior net run rate.

Northern (22), Canterbury (19), Auckland (16) and Wellington (13) are all in the hunt for the three spots.

Otago are off to Queenstown to play Northern (Wednesday) and Wellington (Sunday).

Otago

L Georgeson lbw b Milne 2

J Cumming c McLachlan b van Beek 8

D Foxcroft b Sears 6

D Phillips c TM Johnson b Younghusband 57

T Parkes c Greenwood b Sears 30

L Johnson c McLachlan b Smith 15

M Chu c Milne b Younghusband 3

B Lockrose c McLachlan b van Beek 9

M Bacon c & b van Beek 2

A Hazeldine not out 54

J Duffy c Kelly b Milne 27

Extras (6lb, 6w, 1nb) 13

Total (all out, 44.4 overs) 226

Fall: 1-2, 2-12, 3-35, 4-108, 5-112, 6-126, 7-129, 8-132, 9-147.

Bowling: A Milne 9.4-1-55-2 (1nb), L van Beek 9-2-27-3, N Smith 8-0-55-1 (4w), B Sears 8-0-45-2, P Younghusband 10-0-38-2.

Wellington

G Severin c Chu b Duffy 17

N Greenwood b Bacon 13

T Johnson c Parkes b Duffy 83

N Kelly c Cumming b Georgeson 15

C McLachlan c Johnson b Georgeson 6

J Tashkoff c Cumming b Georgeson 0

N Smith c Cumming b Georgeson 37

L van Beek c Foxcroft b Georgeson 13

A Milne lbw b Lockrose 4

P Younghusband not out 4

B Sears run out 2

Extras (2b, 4lb, 10w, 1nb) 17

Total (all out, 48.1 overs) 211

Fall: 1-33, 2-33, 3-67, 4-83, 5-83, 6-159, 7-181, 8-200, 9-208.

Bowling: J Duffy 10-0-40-2, A Hazeldine 9-0-45-0 (2w, 1nb), M Bacon 8.1-1-28-1 (1w), L Georgeson 10-1-37-5 (1w), B Lockrose 8-0-40-1 (2w), D Foxcroft 3-0-15-0.

Result: Otago won by 15 runs.