Volts coach content with first innings 265

The Otago Volts are content with their start at the Basin Reserve. Photo: Getty Images
The Otago Volts are content with their start at the Basin Reserve. Photo: Getty Images
Otago snuck past "go" but landed on "income tax".

If the Volts had been playing Monopoly they would be no closer to either bankruptcy or winning the game.

The visitors posted a middling total of 265 on the opening day of their match against Wellington.

It is the type of score you would celebrate about as much as if you had bought Old Kent Road — a sigh is probably more appropriate. But then again the Volts’ top order has been struggling and the Basin Reserve has not been a productive venue.

In that context the tally is more useful than it may appear.

Otago coach Rob Walter certainly indicated as much.

"I thought we executed our batting game plan pretty well, to be fair," he said.

"The surface certainly had a bit in it. If you had offered us 265, after looking at the wicket we’d have taken it."

If the Volts can pick up the scalp of key batsman Devon Conway before he can get established today, they would have made a sizeable dent in a Wellington batting line-up which has its own frailties.

Otago will also have to get through opener Tom Blundell.

He guided Wellington through the last hour of play to help his side reach 48 for one at stumps.

The test opener batted positively, clubbing seven fours on his way to 31 not out.

"We weren’t right on the money with our execution [with the ball], but overall I’m pretty happy. We’ve probably got our noses in front at this stage."

Wellington started well. Under-rated seamer Ollie Newton was on form early. He ripped a deliver past Anaru Kitchen to send the opening back to the dressing room for five.

Dale Phillips came in at No 3 rather than in the middle order as expected and shone.

There was a French cut early but he took the attack to the bowlers and raced to his maiden 50 in a run-a-ball.

But Newton produced a similar delivery to the one which accounted for Kitchen to bowl Phillips for 65, and, earlier, opener Camden Hawkins nicked out for 24.

The Volts were118 for three at lunch. Hamish Rutherford was set on 19 and he pushed through to 57 after the break.

But the rest of the line-up offered only cameos.

Newton finished with four for 62 from 23 overs, and Ben Sears removed 10 and jack to claim four for 46.

In Rangiora, Canterbury was dismissed for 266 in its match with Northern Districts.

Leo Carter top scored with 50 and Ken McClure made 45, while Scott Kuggeleijn took three for 44.

In reply, the Knights were seven for none at stumps.

The opening day of the match between Central Districts and Auckland at Saxton Oval was abandoned without a ball bowled.

 

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