Otago Volts Too Strong For Canterbury

Jeff CheshireAnalyst IIJanuary 14, 2009

The Otago Volts gave the Canterbury Wizards a 125-run thrashing today at the University Oval in Dunedin. Batting performances from Craig Cumming and Nathan McCullum saw Otago through to a very strong position at the end of their innings, and a good all-around bowling performance saw the Volts bowl Canterbury out for a dismal 163.

It wasn't looking that way at the start of the game, however.

With former Black Cap Shane Bond taking three early wickets, including that of Blacks Caps opener Brendon McCullum for one, Canterbury looked to have the upper hand. It was Cumming's 130 that was the key factor in rescuing the situation for Otago, hitting sixteen fours and falling just three runs short of his domestic high score.

Meanwhile, McCullum managed a brilliant 71 off just 55 balls, leaving the crowd dazzled. And as Ian Butler and English import Dimitri Mascarenhas were able to score some quick runs late in the innings, Otago finished with a very competitive 288.

The Canterbury openers blasted their way through to 59, off just 10 overs, but could not push on, and Ian Robertson went for 30, while Michael Papps managed 27. It was slim pickings after that, though, for the Wizards. Andy Ellis came in and hit 32 at the end, but the game was long gone from Canterbury's grasp by that stage.

The pick of the Otago Bowlers was Dimitri Mascarenhas, who took three wickets, and after going for 32 runs off his first five overs, went for only 10 off his last five, giving him figures of 3/42.

McCullum also managed three wickets later on in the innings while the rest of the attack bowled well without anyone standing out.

The win puts Otago four points clear of Canterbury in the State Shield table as they try to maintain their No. 3 spot in the competition.