Volts’ innings unravels to hand win to Wellington

Another day, another disappointment.

Otago collapsed to be all out for 242 after restricting Wellington to a middling total of 255 for seven at the Basin Reserve yesterday.

The Volts were on track to post a win in their opening Ford Trophy game. But the innings unravelled following the departure of senior statesman Neil Broom for 72.

The Volts slid from a comfortable position (202 for four) into a brisk capitulation.

It capped off a horrid seven days. Otago was rolled for just 137 on the final day of its four-day game against Northern Districts at Molyneux Park late last week.

On Sunday, Central Districts wicketkeeper-batter Dane Cleaver clouted an unbeaten century to help his side secure a five-wicket win in a Super Smash game.

And yesterday's slump completed the triple — three consecutive defeats in three different formats.

Veteran Otago pair Broom and Anaru Kitchen looked to have the matter well under control. They combined in a pivotal 89-run stand for the fifth wicket.

But Broom's dismissal created a wave which swept away the rest of the batting order.

Kitchen was run out for 41. His team-mate Michael Rippon was the villain in that act.

Called him through. Sent him back. Oops.

Max Chu got a top edge first ball.

Jake Gibson holed out to a delivery from James Gibson. One too many J Gibsons in the that sentence.

There was still a chance Otago could limp through to victory but Hamish Bennett took two wickets in the penultimate over to wrap up the innings and banked a 13-run win.

It was a very flat finish from the Volts who play again tomorrow — a T20 against the Northern Brave at Seddon Park.

There were some highlights, though.

Kitchen was in the squad as cover but got the nod when it was apparent the wicket would suit his bowling more than seamers Travis Muller or Angus McKenzie.

The left-arm spinner went wicketless but he hustled through 10 overs for just 26 runs and created a lot of pressure.

Wrist spinner Rippon bounced back from a forgettable T20 match against Central Districts with a four-wicket haul.

He got clobbered for 50 runs from three overs at the University Oval but found the mottled surface in Wellington more to his liking.

The Firebirds had established a nice platform at 92 for one. But Rippon snapped up quick wickets to change the momentum of the innings.

He nicked out opener Luke Georgeson for 44 and caught and bowled Jakob Bhula for 21.

Then he got the ball to turn past the bat of Michael Bracewell before the punishing left-hander could get set.

James Gibson joined Rippon's tally of wickets when he lofted a catch to Jacob Duffy at long-off.

Troy Johnson held the innings together with a fine knock of 73 from 87 balls. He eventually got a tower leading edge which the bowler, this time Duffy, manoeuvred under and pouched.

Former Otago all-rounder Nathan Smith smashed 44 not out from 29 deliveries to boost the score past 250.

That helped make the difference and dished up more disappointment for his old team.

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