Crook's maiden ton steers Wellington to safety

The State Otago Volts claimed first innings points after their State Championship four-day cricket match against the State Wellington Firebirds at Dunedin ended in a draw today.

With Wellington chasing 322 runs to win, stumps were pulled on the final day today with them 283 for six, after resuming on 74 for two this morning.

The result saw Otago remain fourth on the standings with six points after five rounds while Auckland, who beat Northern Districts by 22 runs in Whangarei today, leapfrogged Wellington into second.

Rain which ended play at 3.40pm at University Oval yesterday delayed the start today and caused another four stoppages, hindering Wellington's run-chase.

Neil Parlane added just six runs to his overnight score of 53 before Neil Wagner got him leg before wicket.

This brought the irrepressible Luke Woodcock to the crease and with BJ Crook, he sparked an entertaining partnership.

The pair put on 153 for the fourth wicket with Woodcock, third on there overall State MVP rankings, hitting 69 before he was caught by Hamish Rutherford off Warren McSkimming.

Crook, playing his seventh first class match, went on to compile his maiden first class century and was 101 not out at the end.

Wellington's push for the win was ended when McSkimming removed wicketkeeper Chris Nevin and DeWayne Bowden with consecutive balls to leave them at 259 for six.

Harry Boam safely negotiated McSkimming's hat-trick ball and shored up his end in a 24-run partnership with Crook which saw him 12 not out at stumps.

McSkimming was the best Otago bowlers, taking three for 54 in the second innings to end with seven for the match.


Day 3:

Heavy rain has called an early finish to play between the State Otago Volts and State Wellington Firebirds in Dunedin on day three. 

The Firebirds are 74 for two in their second innings chasing a further 247 for victory. 

Neal Parlane struck an aggressive unbeaten 53 off 52 before the weather intervened and stopped play.

Day 2:

The State Otago Volts have a 245 run lead at the end of day two against the State Wellington Firebirds at the end of day two in the State Championship match at the University Oval in Dunedin.

The Firebirds started the day on 94 for five but crumbled to be all out for 139 – 45 runs behind the Volt’s first innings score.

Warren McSkimming was took four for 40 with Neil Wagner and Mathew Harvie picking up two apiece.

Otago’s innings got of to a terrible start with both openers back in the pavilion after 2.4 overs but a 77 run partnership between Greg Todd and Indian loan player VVS Laxman steadied the innings.  Todd went on to record 73 with Laxman making 44. 

Spinner Luke Woodcock was the pick of the Wellington bowlers with three for 49.

Otago will resume tomorrow on 210 for seven.

Day 1:

The State Wellington Firebirds won the toss and put the State Otago Volts into bat.  Otago were unable to build partnerships, losing wickets throughout their innings and were eventually all out for 174 with their highest scorer being No 8 batsman Warren McSkimming. 

Wellington paceman Michael Burns ripped through the top order and taking four for 41, including the scalp of VVS Laxman for 20.  Dewayne Bowden took three for 40 to be the Firebirds next best.

In reply Wellington were shaky in reply with captain Matthew Bell dismissed first ball and Neal Parlane going in the second over.  They struggled through to 94 for 5 with opening batsman Josh Bodie their best with 32.

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