Volts’ brave comeback not enough

Hamish Rutherford
Hamish Rutherford
Otago got knocked about, knocked down and knocked around the park.

But you certainly cannot knock the Volts’ effort.

Auckland clinched a two-wicket win in the final of the one-day tournament at Eden Park Outer Oval yesterday.

Otago clawed its way to 283 despite in-from opener Hamish Rutherford being forced to retire after failing a concussion test.

Dean Foxcroft also took a heavy blow to the neck in a collision which proved disruptive.

But while the Volts had some rotten fortune, Colin Munro made his own luck.

The Black Caps discard swung hard and bludgeoned a rapid century.

He did not waste energy with slick footwork or bother manipulating the field.

Munro dealt mostly in multiples of four or six. It was the kind of hitting which has earned him a reputation as one of the most feared ball-strikers in world cricket.

It was his lack of consistency which cost him a spot in the Black Caps one-day side.

But that has not been a problem for him recently. He had swatted two centuries earlier in the campaign and fittingly brought up his third with another boundary.

His hundred came off just 58 balls and was the third-fastest century in the history of the competition.

He got out shortly after for 104. But the 12 fours and seven sixes Munro had swatted had gone a long way towards clinching the title for the Aces.

Otago captain Jacob Duffy was not giving up, though. He captured Munro’s wicket and also picked up the wickets of Ben Horne for 42 and Kyle Jamieson for seven, having earlier removed Martin Guptill for a duck.

The wobbles had shaken free some of the supporting cast, but Mark Chapman stayed calm.

He waited for the deliveries he could whack. He got three of those in the 44th over and they all went for six.

It was a classy finish from Chapman, who was unbeaten on 84 from 78.

Otago made a bright start. Rutherford is in sparkling form and he teed off in the fifth over.

But Lockie Ferguson sent down a rapid bumper which beat Rutherford’s bat and collected the badge on his helmet.

The 30-year-old was staggered briefly and failed the concussion test. He had to retire on 36. He was replaced in the playing XI by the 12th man Matthew Bacon.

When Nick Kelly was bowled first ball after shouldering arms, Auckland had wrested back the momentum.

Foxcroft helped ease any nerves with several delicious drives for four.

He looked in tremendous touch until he collided with an Auckland player while dashing to complete a tight single.

Foxcroft went down in a heap but eventually left the field without any assistance.

He passed the concussion test and returned at the fall of the next wicket. But he did not rediscover his earlier touch and was dismissed for 42.

Neil Broom made a valuable 39, but it was a fighting 58-run partnership between Anaru Kitchen (60) and Duffy (24) for the eighth-wicket which helped dragged the Volts through to a useful total.

Auckland’s Glenn Phillips was the surprise package with the ball. Normally seen behind the stumps, he took three for 40 with his off-spinners.


 

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