Peter Fulton paved the way for Canterbury. NZC

Canterbury takes early Ford Trophy lead

Canterbury's pace attack produced an impressive performance to dismiss the SBS Bank Otago Volts for 163 to help secure a 65-run win at Molyneux Park in Alexandra.

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The fast bowling battery shared the wickets, with Edward Nuttall and Hamish Bennett picking up two apiece, while Andrew Ellis and Logan van Beek took one each.

Matt Henry, fresh from taking eight wickets in two games for the BLACKCAPS, turned his attention on the Volts and captured the key wicket of Neil Broom.

Matt Henry is on a roll. Photosport

Former Canterbury captain Peter Fulton deserves a fair chunk of the credit. He was the only batsman to flourish on a pitch which did not produce the expected runsfest.

Futon made a confident 81 to help his side post 228, while Leo Carter (27), Ellis (25) and Todd Astle (26) all made useful contributions in the context of a low-scoring game in cool conditions.

The total looked on the lean side, especially when you consider the pitch a couple of metres to one side had produced more than 600 runs on Sunday.

But on a bad day all around the country for the host teams, the Volts' reply got off to a horror start.

The Volts had donned black armbands in sympathy for the Martin family, who had lost their 12-year-old son Jack after he was struck by a pleasure boat in nearby St Bathan's. Jack Martin had been a good cricketer, and had been preparing to play for North Otago at the South Island primary schools tournament, as vice-captain.

But the Volts were unable to produce the kind of tribute they would have liked to. Scoreless Michael Bracewell was run out in the second over, and Anaru Kitchen nicked out next ball following a half-hearted swipe.

Broom's dismissal was guilt-ridden, as well. He took half a step forward and wafted at a drive to be caught in the slips.

Captain Hamish Rutherford and Jimmy Neesham countered with a much-needed stand of 45. Patience was called for, they too would be removed.

Bennett enticed Rutherford into a drive and bowled him, while Neesham flicked a shot straight to fine leg during Bennett's next over. It was the defining moment in the match. Neil Wagner (37 not out) and Bradley Scott (15) equalled their own Otago ninth-wicket record, combining in a stand of 59 to add a touch of credibility to what was a pretty lean batting effort, albeit against a quality attack.

The loss left the Volts winless after their opening two games in Alexandra, while Canterbury head the table with a bonus point win and is one of two undefeated sides, alongside the Mondiale Auckland Aces.

Round three of the Ford Trophy is at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval (Canterbury v Firebirds), New Plymouth's Pukekura Park (Stags v Volts) and Auckland’s Eden Park Outer Oval (Aces v Knights) at 11am this Sunday, 3 January 2016.

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