Otago Volts beat Central Stags by six wickets
(reduced 20 over match)
Toss: Volts who bowled
Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
29 November 2020
Joey Field: List A debut
Hamish Rutherford after 97 in a first up win for the @OtagoVolts against the Stags #FordTrophy pic.twitter.com/lmG5hNq0Dt— #NZIII (@MargotButcher) November 29, 2020
On a day that threatened to have no play at all - after heavy overnight rain in New Plymouth had led to an almost day-long ground delay, a late start at Pukekura Park proved better late than never for the Otago Volts.
The teams only arriving at the ground hours after an early lunch had been taken at noon, a start date was set for 4.32PM - 20 overs per side - in the nick of time after the umpires' final inspection, former Test spinner Evan Gray making his debut as a match referee in the officials' posse for the match.
Despite the sun sloping away and long shadows over the pitch, the match would push past 7.45PM in a big-hitting "T20 one-dayer".
Three times the ball had to be replaced after it was hit hard out of the ground - the first time by George Worker who launched it to somewhere near the Wind Wand, or at least, lost into a house across Fillis Street.
Neil Broom, Mitch Renwick, Josh Finnie and Hamish Rutherford would later respond with thumping hits for the Volts.
It boiled down to a battle of the opening batsmen.
Sent in, the Stags' first pair of George Worker (33 off 24) and Bayley Wiggins (44 off 28, on the ground at which the youngster made his maiden century earlier in the year) made an aggressive start with a punchy 73-run stand for the first wicket that looked to have the hosts off to a flier.
But once the duo was dismissed just inside the first half of the innings, the Volts' attack fought back with regular wickets, and collectively stemmed the damage.
Volts captain Hamish Rutherford came close to carrying his bat in the successful chase, slamming 70 of his runs in boundaries, only to be bowled on 97 (from just 59 balls) when just six further runs were required for the victory.
He was applauded off the ground by the modest tea-time crowd after a well controlled display that had been complemented at the top by canny strokemaking from veteran Neil Broom.
Rutherford had ultimately made sure his team chased down the Stags' par total of 183 for six - after surviving an easy chance when he was dropped on 54 - with 10 balls to spare.
In all, 18 sixes peppered the unusual match, with Ford Trophy round two between the two sides scheduled to begin at the same venue on Tuesday and free admission - weather permitting.