Volts sneak past Aces, other matches washed out

Derek de Boorder showed a clear head and determination can have their rewards as Otago vaulted to the top of the national one-day cricket standings today.

The southerners squeaked home over Auckland Aces by two wickets with 10 balls to spare after their wicketkeeper kept his head as others around him lost theirs at Oamaru's Centennial Park.

Otago Volts looked comfortable at 150 for five with nearly 15 overs remaining in their pursuit of Auckland's 199 after former international Aaron Redmond provided the platform by accumulating his 66 off 106 balls.

However, when he was the sixth man to depart after striking nine boundaries, Otago briefly got the shakes as three wickets fells for the addition of just one run.

But De Boorder, who had pouched four catches behind the wickets during Auckland's unconvincing innings, was the right man in the right place as he stood up to make 29 not out off 35 balls and coolly guide his side home.

He was aided at the end by No 10 Craig Smith, who lent invaluable support in making 13 not out in an unbroken stand worth 29 runs.

The result saw Otago lift themselves from fourth to first place after five rounds of the competition, their rapid promotion helped today because there was no action in the other two matches.

Rain forced the contests between Northern Knights and Canterbury Wizards at Whangarei and Wellington Firebirds against Central Stags in the capital to be abandoned without a ball delivered.

But at least things were dry in Oamaru where Otago skipper Redmond inserted the visitors after winning the toss.

His decision was quickly vindicated as Auckland stumbled to 88 for five inside 18 overs before Roneel Hira led a rearguard action by scoring 44 off 48 balls and at least give his bowlers something to defend.

They could not do that in the end despite Colin de Grandhomme taking three for 39 and medium pacer Colin Munro three for 45.

NZPA

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