Volts fall agonisingly close

The Otago Volts fell two runs short of outright victory against Canterbury Wizards in a thrilling finish to the fourth round Plunket Shield match.

Otago were on track for an unlikely victory at the Queenstown Events Centre after both teams played ball to set up an exciting final day.

Otago declared on their overnight total of 241 for three and in the process handed the two first innings points to the visitors.

Canterbury rattled up 89 for two in 15 overs before declaring their second innings, leaving the hosts 345 to win from 90 overs. They ended on 343 for seven, but blew their chance of gaining six points after being comfortably placed at 234 for one with 30 overs remaining.

Captain Craig Cumming was again the star of the day and completed a fine match by cracking 127, backing up his unbeaten first dig of the same score that saw him surpass Bert Sutcliffe as Otago's most prolific century-maker.

His 19th ton for the province today saw him join Sutcliffe, Glenn Turner, Ken Rutherford and Greg Todd in the group of Otago batsmen who have scored centuries in each innings of a first-class match.

But the 35-year-old will be reflecting on six points that got away after the home team stumbled in the last hour, with No 3 Shaun Haig, who was 94 not out at the close, unable to guide the southerners to victory.

Day 3: Cumming achieves record on rain affected day

Only 24 overs of play were available on a rain-affected third day at Queenstown but that was enough time for Otago Volts captain Craig Cumming to post a significant milestone in their Plunket Shield cricket match against Canterbury Wizards.

Cumming, who resumed today on 83, moved through to 127 not out before the rain set in and the 35-year-old opener's 18th century for Otago saw him surpass the late great left-hander Bert Sutcliffe as the leading century-maker for the province.

Otago, replying to Canterbury's first innings of 496, only had time to add 70 runs at the Queenstown Events Centre today and were 241 for three when play was called off, Darren Broom the other not out batsman on 24.

They head into the final day trailing by 255 runs.

Day 2: Wizards pile on the runs but Volts fight back

At Queenstown, the Canterbury Wizards pushed on to post an imposing first innings total of 496 but the Otago Volts are making a reasonable fist of the chase for first innings points, reaching 171 for three at stumps on the second day at the Queenstown Events Centre.

Veteran skipper Craig Cumming is leading the way for the hosts and is unbeaten on 83. He shared in a 118-run opening stand with fellow former international Aaron Redmond, who made 57, and will resume tomorrow with Darren Broom, who is yet to score.

Canterbury started the day on 344 for six and pushed on until soon after lunch today, allrounder Andrew Ellis becoming the second centurymaker of the innings after Reece Young by posting 118, his maiden first-class hundred bettering his previous highest score of 78.

He shared in a 112-run partnership from 131 balls with opening bowler Ryan McCone, a ninth-wicket record partnership for Canterbury against Otago. No 10 McCone ended the innings unbeaten on 65.

Otago left arm quick Neil Wagner continued his outstanding season with five for 130. He has 29 wickets at 15.97 midway through the fourth of 10 rounds.

Day 1: Young puts Wizards in strong position

Test wicketkeeper Reece Young scored his first ton for his new major association, and his sixth first class hundred in total, as the Canterbury Wizards reached 344 for six at stumps on the first day of their fourth round Plunket Shield cricket match against the Otago Volts at Queenstown today.

Young, who made his test debut against Pakistan in Hamilton last month, picked up where he left off at domestic level, continuing his rise as a batsman by hammering 17 fours in a 140-ball 117 at the Queenstown Events Centre.

Opener Michael Papps provided the early platform after the visitors were sent into bat, scoring 95 at a reasonable clip before Young and allrounder Andy Ellis combined for a 138-run partnership, a record for the sixth wicket for all teams this summer and the biggest sixth-wicket stand at the picturesque ground at Frankton, just east of Queenstown.

Young lazily flayed at a wide one late in the day from left-arm quick Neil Wagner and was caught behind, but Ellis will resume tomorrow on 52 with Todd Astle, who is 14 not out.

Neil Wagner and Sam Wells each took two wickets for Otago but it will be Canterbury who will sleep easier tonight with their noses slightly in front.

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