The Otago Volts and Central Stags have played out a draw in the final day of their Plunket Shield match at University Oval in Dunedin.
With the Volts resuming the day at 37 for one and with a lead of 15, it was going to be tough for either side to force a result. The home side batted through to 227 for four, until stumps was called after 80 overs.
The early stages were important for the Volts, as they adequately held out the Stags’ bowling attack to avoid a collapse.
Every batsmen made a start, but they key figure in the morning session was night-watchmen Neil Wagner. Alongside a couple of other cameos, Wagner took his side to 168 for three before falling for 65 in the 66th over.
It opened up a small opportunity for the Stags, but they were unable to take advantage as Ryan ten Doeschate and Neil Broom put on an unbeaten 59 run stand for the fifth wicket.
Ten Doescate ended with 52 not out to back up his century in the first innings, while Broom was resilient with an unbeaten 24.
Part-timer Jeet Raval surprisingly was the most effective with the ball, taking two wickets in his eight overs for 24 runs.
The result sees the Stags stay well clear at the top, while the Volts are next best in second place.
Day three: No clear leader between Volts and Stags
The Plunket Shield match between the Otago Volts and Central Stags remains tight, with the Volts currently holding a 15 run lead at University Oval, Dunedin.
Behind 142 from Matthew Sinclair the Stags posted 449 in the first innings to gain a 22 run advantage. In reply the Volts worked their way to 37 for one at stumps.
Hamish Rutherford (15) is the only wicket to fall so far in the Volt’s second effort, while Aaron Redmond (21*) and night-watchman Neil Wagner (0*) currently occupy the crease.
Earlier, Stags veteran Sinclair had shown just why he is known as one of New Zealand’s most prolific First-Class batsmen. The 37 year-old brought up his 36th First-Class century, bringing up the milestone off 171 balls.
Jamie How (64) and Carl Cachopa (55) had made solid contributions earlier in the innings, while Peter Trego (35), Roald Badenhorst (27) and Bevan Small (28) all produced handy cameos at the end.
After 127.1 overs the Stags were dismissed one short of 450, but with a slight lead over their opposition.
Neil Wagner charged in for 30.1 overs for the Volts and claimed figures of four for 103. Ian Butler and Sam Wells also had some success with two wickets apiece.
With things so tight it will require a dramatic first session on the final day tomorrow to produce a result, but as the old cliché (sorry) goes ‘in cricket, anything can happen.’
Day two: Stags start response well
The Central Stags finished day two of their Plunket Shield match against the Otago Volts at 115 for one in reply to the southerners first innings total of 428.
Ryan ten Doeschate scored 118 in the morning at University Oval, with the tail also contributing to help Otago to a big total. In reply Central lost just one wicket in the final 38 overs of the day and trail by 312 runs.
Jamie How and Jeet Raval put on 107 for the opening wicket, before Raval fell for 47 with just two overs remaining.
How (52*) brought up his half century just before stumps and will resume tomorrow with Carl Cachopa not out on eight.
It made for a good start to the Stag’s response, who were earlier frustrated by Otago’s lower order batsmen.
Ten Doeschate arrived back at the crease and made the final 18 runs to bring up his century off 136 balls. It held the Volts innings together and was his top score for the side.
His dismissal in the 87th over didn’t spell the end of the hosts innings though, as Sam Wells (63), Mark Craig (63) and Neil Wagner (68) all added to the total.
Wells played a very composed innings, while Craig and Wagner both showed a reasonable level of aggression to propel them past the 400 mark.
After 111.3 overs the innings came to an end. Spinner Ajaz Patel was the best of the bowlers and finished with figures of four for 86 from 28.3 overs. Peter Trego and Andrew Lamb also chipped in with two wickets apiece.
The match will resume tomorrow at 10:00am.
Day one: Otago 181 for four on day one
Rain somewhat limited progress on day one of the Plunket Shield match between the Otago Volts and Central Stags, with only 47.1 overs completed at University Oval, Dunedin.
Ryan ten Doeschate followed up his fine HRV Cup performance on Friday night with another impressive outing, making an unbeaten 88 off 112 balls. It led Otago to 181 for four at stumps, with Sam Wells the other player at the crease on seven not out.
Conditions were tough once the players took the field and it showed early on. Hamish Rutherford and Michael Bracewell went early to leave the home side hurting at 15 for two.
Aaron Redmond though remained in the middle and combined nicely with Ten Doeschate to put on 127 for the third wicket.
Redmond fell in the 35th over for 63 and Broom (18) couldn’t make more than a start. At four down it leaves things evenly balanced ahead of day two.
Ajaz Patel broke through twice for the Stags and finished with figures of two for 42 from 11 overs.
Play will start at 10:00am tomorrow to try make up for the missed overs today.