Ian Butler turned on a stellar all-round performance against his former team as the State Otago Volts picked up first innings points against State Northern Knights in Dunedin today.
The former BLACKCAPS pace bowler played for Northern for seven years, but put old allegiances behind him in turning out for Otago in the rain-interrupted State Championship match.
Butler bowled steadily in both innings, picking up two for 59 off 19 overs in the first, including the useful wicket of former BLACKCAP James Marshall for 12.
He was even more miserly today, taking two for 19 off 12 overs, but it was his batting which proved an unlikely saviour for Otago.
Butler was on 19 not out overnight as Otago battled to sneak first innings points in a match which was always unlikely to produce an outright result. More than 100 overs were lost to rain and bad light over the previous three days.
Northern, bowled out for 275 in their first innings, had Otago in all sorts of trouble late yesterday at 235 for nine. But Butler and No 11 batsman James McMillan hung tough and gave Otago a chance to snaffle the points at 256 for nine at stumps.
Butler saw his new province through safely to first innings points with an unbeaten 37 as Otago declared at 277 for nine after just 10 overs had been bowled this morning.
McMillan added one to his overnight score while Butler finished unbeaten on 35.
An unbeaten eighth-wicket partnership of 54 between Graeme Aldridge and Bradley Scott steadied Northern Districts as they wavered slightly before the match meandered to a close.
The pair came together with the score on 127 for seven, but when stumps were drawn shortly after 5pm today, Aldridge was on 25 off 97 balls and Scott 21 from 87, leaving Northern 181 for seven.