Plunket Shield round eight: Canterbury v Otago Volts at Hagley Oval, 14-16 March 2017
Canterbury has extended its Plunket Shield lead at the head of the table with a brutal outright over the Otago Volts at Hagley Oval with a day to spare. It was their fourth outright of the season, by an innings and 119 runs.
Earlier in the day Andrew Ellis had declared at 432 for nine, a first-innings lead of 292 after Ken McClure had taken his overnight half century to 73, while partner Todd Astle got to 41 before they were bowled by Sam Wells and Nathan Smith respectively.
While Ellis himself missed out, the late order ladelled on quick runs. None of the Volts' attack would be left empty-handed in the wickets column, Michael Rae picking up a three-for, but Canterbury was already in the box seat.
The Volts then lost an early wicket in the eight remaining overs before lunch, heading to the break at 18 for one after paceman Logan van Beek, operating as an early first change, had ripped out the important wicket of Brad Wilson.
Van Beek quickly added the wickets of Michael Bracewell and Sean Eathorne and, with two more quick wickets before the break, the Volts were in deep trouble at 103 for five, still behind to the tune of 189 runs.
Van Beek was sitting on a sweet haul of 4-26 off just 10.3 overs, Todd Astle having picked up the only other wicket to fall by trapping Michael Rippon on 41, spinner against spinner. Derek de Boorder remained on 35, a dim light of hope.
De Boorder would reach his half century but no more as Ellis swept in for two of the last three wickets to give himself eight for the match, helping roll the Volts for 173 in little more than 60 overs. Van Beek finished with his third five-wicket bag, and second at Hagley Oval in consecutive seasons, just one run outside his career best of 5-42.
First innings batting bonus points, Otago Volts 0, Canterbury 4 (maximum achieved)
First innings bowling bonus points, Canterbury 4 (maximum achieved), Otago Volts 2
First innings batting bonus points, Otago Volts 0 (completed), Canterbury 3* (in progress)
First innings bowling bonus points, Canterbury 4 (maximum achieved), Otago Volts 2* (in progress)
From 4-31 overnight Andrew Ellis quickly swooped in on the second morning for a career best, adding two further wickets to roll the Otago Volts for 140 in just 71 overs.
Yesterday's lone soldier Brad Wilson was the first to go, the gritty Volts captain edging a catch to slipper Peter Fulton on 70, after almost five hours at the crease.
It was the fifth over of the morning, and just four balls later Ellis struck again, tailender Michael Rae's wicket ensuring he easily exceeded his previous best of six for 54, leading the team off with 6-35 from his 23 overs and a sixth bag.
Canterbury was 51 without loss by first drinks in reply, the batsmen looking to take charge and extend their lead in the Plunket Shield.
They made major inroads into the Volts’ meagre first innings tally of 140 by reaching 95 before their first wicket fell, but 24-year-old opener Chad Bowes remained, and went on to anchor with his fourth first-class century, and third for Canterbury (his maiden was for KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa) before falling on 137 off 147 balls (17 fours, 3 sixes).
At stumps, Canterbury’s lead was exactly 200 with four wickets in hand, and they require just 10 more runs to secure a fourth batting bonus point.
Canterbury captain Andrew Ellis led from the front yet again as the Plunket Shield leaders looked to tighten their grip.
On a weather-affected opening day after two days of heavy rain, Ellis won a vital toss at home at Hagley Oval, then starred with the ball to have the Otago Volts 124/8 by stumps.
None of his six bowlers conceded more than 3.00 per over but Ellis's knack for cleaning up wickets saw him profit the most with 4-31 from his 20 overs, while opposing skipper Brad Wilson (below) managed to survive unscathed throughout the 65.4 overs of possible play to be unbeaten on 56 by stumps.
Derek de Boorder was the next best on the scoreboard with 20.
Day two play will begin at the earlier time of 10am.