SBS Banks Otago Volts 169-7 (Jesse Ryder 56, Michael Bracewell 40) lost to Wellington Firebirds 171-7 in 19.4 overs (Grant Elliott 43, Jeetan Patel 34*, Nathan McCullum 3-29) by three wickets.
A whirlwind 34 from 14 balls from Jeetan Patel rescued the Wellington Firebirds when all seemed lost. Chasing the SBS Bank Otago Volts' formidable 169, thanks in large part to Jesse Ryder and Michael Bracewell's partnership, the Firebirds were meandering when James Franklin, Grant Elliott and Patel made a late surge to get their team home and back in the competition.
In the first innings, after Neil Broom went early, Jesse Ryder and Michael Bracewell put on a show. Ryder used his timing and simple footwork to put the ball to all areas of the park, taking a series of boundaries from Patel, and putting one ball out of the stadium and on to SKY's Ian Smith's car. Ryder brought up his 50 from just 23 deliveries, including 19 from one James Franklin over. At the other end Bracewell was more circumspect but just as delightful to watch with a series of silky cover drives to the boundary.
The pair put on 80 runs for the second wicket before Ryder skied a Grant Elliott slower ball to Matthew Taylor on the boundary to depart for 56 from 25 deliveries. Ryan ten Doeschate chopped Luke Woodcock on for one, before Bracewell served up a six that was well caught in the crowd to win The Breeze's $5K promotion. He was eventually caught going long again on the boundary for 40 from 40 deliveries.
Nathan McCullum (26) and Nick Beard (13) saw the Volts through the end of the innings to post 169-7 in their twenty overs.
In reply, the Firebirds top order all got starts but lost their wickets before pushing on to large totals. James McMillan got Michael Pollard lbw for 14 in the fourth, while Michael Papps was well caught for 14 by ten Doeschate from Ryder's bowling.
Franklin was dropped on one when he skied Beard high into the air where Bracewell was unable to hang on. He went on to make 23 from 12 to wrest the momentum back, and was joined by Grant Elliott, who put the foot down.
Elliott made 43 from 24, including six fours and two sixes, but when Franklin left caught by Jacob Duffy from Nathan McCullum for 23 from 12, the Firebirds wobbled, losing two quick wickets before Jeetan Patel arrived to take the game away from the Volts.
He threw the bat at everything, taking advantage of Duffy losing his line at the death. The Firebirds needed 15 from the last and Patel got his team home with two balls to spare, walking off unbeaten on 34, including three fours and two sixes.