The unheralded Jimmy Neesham left his mark as the Otago Volts sewed up a tight Ford Trophy one-way win in the capital over the Wellington Firebirds today.
In just his third domestic one-day outing the 21-year-old allrounder made an impression with both bat and ball as the Volts got home by six runs in a match reduced to 40 overs per side following morning rain.
Neesham came to the party firstly with the bat to hit a much needed 55 to pilot the Volts to 219 all out then later returned to haunt the Firebirds with the tall as he took five for 44, including two wickets in the last over.
He helped resurrect the Volts, who were 69 for four when transplanted opener Neil Broom was dismissed for 38 off 45 balls.
Neesham led the rearguard action with a fine 55 off only 51 balls, including seven fours and one six, while Derek de Boorder made 31 off 27 and Neil Wagner 21 off 22 as the Volts rallied to score a handy 219.
Left-arm swing bowler Andy McKay did best with the ball, returning four for 34.1 off 7.5 overs and spinner Luke Woodcock leant a hand to take two for 43 off eight.
Neesham then turned around with the ball to claim the important scalps of Harry Boam and Firebirds captain Grant Elliott at cheap cost with his medium pacers before being entrusted with the last over as the home side fell short.
He accounted for the experienced James Franklin and Scott Kuggeleijn in the final over, ending the Firebirds’ hopes with the removal of Franklin for a 70-ball 58.
The Firebirds looked threatening at 111 for three in the 23rd over but their momentum stalled with the removal of opener Michael Papps, who reached 56 off 67 balls with six fours before he was trapped leg before wicket by part-time medium pacer Neil Broom.
Seamer Ian Butler got rid of the dangerous Woodcock for seven and the Firebirds began the closing 10 overs with five wickets in hand and needing 7.9 runs an over down the stretch.
Franklin did a fine job nursing the tail towards their target but ultimately fell just short due to the intervention of Neesham.