Firebirds stay in contention

A five-wicket bag from Grant Elliot and 93 from Stephen Fleming ensured Wellington Firebirds sealed victory over Otago Volts and kept pace in the race for State Shield semi-final berth.

Elliott produced wickets in quickfire bursts, including two in consecutive 18th over deliveries as the visitors sunk from 72 for two to 86 for five at the Basin Reserve,

Craig Cumming provided top order resistance with 45, and half-centuries by Neil Broom (62) and Warren McSkimming, who shared a partnership of 90, boosted Otago’s innings.

But they fell in successive overs and the Volts were eventually dismissed for 228, Elliott earning his five-for at a cost of 34 runs.

Wellington then made light work of overhauling that total by the 41st over.

Fleming’s half-century – his 85th in limited-overs cricket – was the bulwark of the reply, and Matthew Bell fell one run short of his 21st fifty in the one-day game.

The five-wicket win means Wellington remain in touching distance of a semi-final spot with two game remaining, but Otago slip to fourth in the ladder.

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