The Otago Volts batted all day to salvage a draw in the Plunket Shield match against the Wellington Firebirds with captain Craig Cumming leading the way.
Yesterday the Firebirds set an impossible target of 600 with the Volts losing one wicket before the close of play.
James Fuller only managed 24 with Darren Broom going for a duck but opener Cumming started on 23 and took his score through to 103 – his fourth century this year and 19th of his First Class career.
Cumming was part of an excellent 144 run partnership with Greg Todd as the pairs saw dulled the Wellington attack.
When Cumming departed, Todd formed another partnership with Nathan McCullum who approached his innings as if the win was a realistic possibility.
The hard hitting all rounder raced to 54 off just 51 but his wicket sparked a collapse that very nearly see them lose the match.
Todd managed a fine 95 with his dismal coming four balls after McCullum went and then Wells departed for 10 shortly after.
Wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder (10*) and Neal Wagner (18*) safely negotiated the remaining 10.1 overs to secure the draw.
Lee Edwards and Tugaga were the best of the Firebirds attack taking three for 71 and three for 69 respectively.
The Wellington Firebirds managed to clinch first innings points but wasn’t enough to avoid them finishing in last place. The Otago Volts finished eight points and two places ahead in fourth.
Day 3: Otago Volts require 555 runs to win with 9 wickets
The Wellington Firebirds are in a powerful position at the end of day three as their batsmen adding 402 to there already substantial lead of 197.
Otago batsman Sam Wells was at serious risk of being missing out on a First Class century after starting the day on 97 not out with number 11 batsmen Matthew Harvie who was yet to score.
However, Harvie managed to see off eight deliveries and in the process enabled Wells to raise his bat and finish unbeaten on 102 with the Volts all out for 192.
The Wellington batsman quickly got into their work with openers Stephen Murdoch and Neal Parlane sharing an opening stand of 138 in 28.3 overs before Murdoch went for 88.
Neal Parlane continued on, hitting his highest First Class score of 193. He hit 24 into the rope and six over it in his five hour stay at the crease. He also shared 251 runs second wicket partnership with Cameron Merchant who was also in good touch with 101 not out.
This left the Otago Volts with an impregnable target of 600 with just over a day to play.
Opener Shaun Haig didn’t make it through to stumps with Craig Cumming (23*) and James Fullers (2*) resuming tomorrow on 45 for one.
Day2: Otago Volts trail by 202 runs with 1 wicket in hand
The Wellington Firebirds only added a further 61 runs and lost four wickets giving them a healthy first innings total of 389.
Luke Woodcock was left stranded on 71 not out as the tail crumbled and he will have to wait until the second innings to see if he can reach 1000 runs for the season. The middle order batsman currently sits on 986 and is set to become one of only five New Zealanders to reach the milestone.
Strike bowler Matthew Harvie took three for 66 with medium pacer Sam Wells returning three for 49.
Gloveman Derek de Boorder was busy behind the stumps taking a record eight catches.
The Volts made a disastrous start to their reply with the first five batsmen back in the pavilion before the 15th over was complete and with only 40 runs on the board.
Only Sam Wells supplied any highlights, hitting and unbeaten 97. The left handed all rounder timed the ball beautifully in his lone stand but the problem was at the other end.
Derek de Boorder provided some stickability, lasting 104 deliveries for his 20 and Neil Wagner made 21 but the Otago needed someone to stay with the form batsmen.
Wells will resume tomorrow, three runs short of his second First Class ton with number 11 batsman, Harvie, who is yet to face a ball.
Andrew Lamb snared three for 48, while Lee Edwards and new ball partner James Franklin took two wickets apiece.
Day 1: Wellington Firebirds 328 for six
The Wellington Firebirds welcomed back Jesse Ryder with the hard hitting international making a century in their Plunket Shield match against the Otago Volts at the Basin Reserve.
Ryder, batting at five, came to the crease with the score on 122 for three after Stephen Murdock was out for 22, Neal Parlane went for 17, and James Franklin has just departed for 47.
He quickly got into his work, hitting 12 boundaries and three sixes on his way to a stylish 103 off 109 deliveries.
He was supported by Cameron Merchant who made 47 and Luke Woodcock who remains at the crease on 44 not out.
The Firebirds will resume tomorrow in the commanding position of 328 for six.
New ball bowler Matthew Harvie took two for 55 with medium pacer Sam Wells picking up two for 39 for the Volts.
* Image of Jesse Ryder batting