Redmond rampant in victory

Aaron Redmond has steered the Otago Volts to an eight wicket victory over the Canterbury Wizards in the opening round of the Plunket Shield at MainPower Oval in Rangiora.

Having scored 133 in the first innings, the opener made it back-to-back centuries to help his side chase down their target of 267.

Earlier, the lower-order pair of Todd Astle and Ben McCord continued to frustrate the Volts’ bowlers and put on an incredible 108 for the ninth wicket. McCord was eventually dismissed for 47 by Neil Wagner, before Astle was trapped lbw on 78 by Mark Craig.

The Wizards had climbed their way to 352 – an astonishing effort considering they had been 224 for eight. Astle’s scores of 78 and 95 gave him an impressive average of 86.5 for the match.

Somewhat surprisingly it wouldn’t be the highest though, as Redmond produced another master-class to effectively end the Wizard’s chances.

The 33 year-old formed a formidable partnership with Michael Bracewell and together took the Volts through to 218 before losing their second wicket.

Redmond contributed 123 to that figure, in an innings which came off 186 balls and was highlighted by 12 fours and three sixes.

Young spinner Tim Johnston had him caught in the 60th over, bringing Neil Broom to the crease. Bracewell though had everything under control and saw his side to the end with an unbeaten 88. Broom too was left at the crease not out on 25.

The outright victory will be a huge boost for the Volt's campaign, as will the good form a number of the players showed in the match. |

Day three: Brownlie, Wizards soldier back

Dean Brownlie has given his Canterbury Wizards side a glimmer of hope in their Plunket Shield match against the Otago Volts at MainPower Oval in Rangiora.

Brownlie brought up a brilliant and possibly match saving century as the Wizards finished day three with a lead of 221 at 307 for eight. A staggering effort considering the predicament they had earlier found themselves in.
 
At two for three, the home side were in the undesirable position of having lost more wickets then they had made runs.

Captain Peter Fulton and Brownlie took them through to 34 for three, before the skipper edged one on 13. Brownlie remained though and formed valuable partnerships with youngsters Henry Nicholls (41) and Brad Cachopa (35).

While his partners slowly departed, Brownlie continued to show resilience and by tea time was just one run shy of his century. He wasn’t to be denied and following the break bought up triple figures as the Wizards surpassed 200.

His stint at the crease was finally ended in the 80th over on 113. He had faced 231 balls and taken his side through to 224 before succumbing.

The Volts pleasure at seeing the back of Brownlie though was somewhat short-lived. An unbeaten ninth wicket partnership of 83 between Todd Astle and Ben McCord continued to frustrate the visitors as the pair saw out the rest of the day.

Mark Craig was the most successful of the Otago bowlers, finishing with figures of four for 103 off 39 overs.

The Wizards will resume tomorrow with first innings centurion Astle on 45 and McCord on 41.


Day two: Otago in control

The Otago Volts took their Plunket Shield match against the Canterbury Wizards by the scruff of the neck on day two at MainPower Oval in Rangiora.

A century from Aaron Redmond gave his side an 86 run first innings lead, before Wagner devastated the Wizards top-order just before the end of play.    

The Volts resumed day two at 63 without loss and went on to put on 186 for the first wicket. Aaron Redmond and Hamish Rutherford were in terrific touch and brought their side to within 113 of the Wizards total.

Rutherford was the first to go for 91, when young spinner Tim Johnston bowled him in the 43rd over. Redmond though wouldn’t be denied his century and brought up the milestone off 177 balls. His time in the middle came to an end on 133 in the 65th over, with the Volts 255 for three.

The middle-order failed to capitalise on the strong start, but late cameos from Wagner (24) and Ian Butler (34) ensured the Volts claimed a first innings lead.

In the end the Wizards managed to dismiss the visitors for 383, limiting them to an 86 run lead.

However the home side were shocked in the final stages of the day, losing three batsmen to ducks in the final three overs before stumps.

James McMillan struck once, while Wagner prospered twice to put the Wizards in an ominous position.
 
Peter Fulton (2*) and Dean Brownlie (0*) will resume tomorrow at two for three and still trailing Otago by 84 runs.


Day one: Astle leads Wizards' comeback

The Plunket Shield got underway today with a contest between fierce rivals the Canterbury Wizards and Otago Volts at MainPower Oval in Rangiora.

Having opted to bat, the Wizards recovered from a slow start to finish their innings 287 all out. Todd Astle led the fight back with an impressive 95 off 106 balls.

Captain Peter Fulton (29) and number three Shanan Stewart (33) both made starts for their side, but were unable to push on.

At 111 for five things were looking precarious and the further losses of Brad Cachopa and import Gareth Andrew only added to the Wizards’ woes.

A late partnership was needed for the home side and they received just that, largely thanks to the heroics of recently named BLACKCAP Todd Astle.

The wily spinner showed his talents were not just restricted to the ball and scored at will against the Volts bowling attack.

The Wizards added 143 for the last three wickets, with cameos from Ben McCord (17) and Willie Lonsdale (35) aiding Astle.
 
Just when it looked like Astle’s efforts would be rewarded with a memorable century, James McMillan broke through his defences to dismiss him five runs short.  

Neil Wagner had the biggest impact with the ball and finished with figures of four for 67 off 24 overs. The rest of the wickets were shared amongst the bowlers.

In reply Otago started strongly and were 63 without loss at the end of play. Hamish Rutherford (27) and Aaron Redmond (30) are set to resume tomorrow.

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