Nathan McCullum's decade-long wait for a five-wicket haul in Men's One-Day cricket ended in Palmerston North today as the New Zealand international's milestone helped propel Otago Volts to a convincing 43-run victory over Central Stags.
McCullum snared five for 39 from 10 overs as Otago expertly defended their total of 232 for eight at Fitzherbert Park - a target that appeared gettable at the halfway mark.
Central District's chase fizzled out in the 45th over and although pace bowler Craig Smith mopped up the tail, it was McCullum's ability to remove practically the entire top and middle order that set up Otago's second win of the campaign.
Former international Jamie How, run out by Darren Broom, was the only scalp to evade McCullum as the offspinner created havoc on a slowish pitch.
He started the rot when George Worker (25) offered a return catch, Peter Ingram then edged to wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder when on 24; Mathew Sinclair was adjudged leg before wicket for 14 and Tim Weston followed four runs later for a single as Central lurched to 91 for four.
McCullum then made arguably his most important breakthrough when big-hitting New Zealand teammate Jacob Oram was also trapped leg before wicket for a duck.
Earlier McCullum had figured in a valuable 70-run stand for the fifth wicket with Broom as Otago struggled to make headway against a tight Central Districts attack.
The duo guided Otago from a precarious 75 for four in the 21st over, Broom's career-best 63 from 79 balls providing the highlight on an Otago batting card featuring a sequence of starts though just the solitary half century.
McCullum added a patient 33 from 42 balls before he succumbed to Oram's medium pace.
Although the injury-plagued allrounder failed to fire with the bat he could take heart from an impressive bowling performance as he carefully plots the recovery from his latest knee injury.
Oram, who has designs on an international recall for the upcoming six-match series against Pakistan, took two for 40 from his 10 over allocation - his most economical analysis of a comeback that now spans three rounds of the one-day competition.
Otago's win was even more meritorious considering South African-born quick Neil Wagner was unable to complete his fourth over due to injury.