WEDNESDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2020
CANTERBURY lost to OTAGO VOLTS by 23 runs
• Hagley Oval | Christchurch
A win would have put Canterbury through with a chance of hosting this year's Ford Trophy Grand Final, instead the hosts suffered an untimely upset against the fighting Otago Volts at Hagley.
The Auckland Aces were the only other side to have secured a top-three spot heading into today's penultimate round, but Canterbury was still capable of usurping them at the top of the table, pending results in both Whangarei and Christchurch.
The Aces duly lost up north but, alas for the red and blacks, it was also a sobering day at Hagley Oval.
After having been asked to bowl, Canterbury chipped out two Otago wickets inside the first 15 overs. Young quick Fraser Sheat claimed Nick Kelly in his second over of the day before Andrew Ellis stopped Mitch Renwick's start of 30 at 58 for two.
Opening batsman Neil Broom and Dean Foxcroft steadied the ship with a 66-stand for the third, taking the visitors past the 100-mark for no further loss.
They had reached 124 for two before two quick strikes in the 32nd and 33rd overs put Canterbury back on top: Broom (51) caught off Andrew Hazeldine shortly after having reached his half ton, then Josh Finnie promptly trapped by Henry Shipley at 125 for four.
Foxcroft (72) did some more ship-steadying however, this time in an 87-run stand for the fifth with Anaru Kitchen. Kitchen only just dipped out on a half century of his own when Shipley had him caught a dozen overs down the track.
After Foxcroft (above, PHOTOSPORT) was finally yorked by Will Williams (3-54) two overs later, Canterbury picked up tailend wicket but couldn't get rid of Michael Rippon who bashed an unbeaten 20* off just 12 balls to see the Volts through to 253 for eight in their 50.
Canterbury needed to take control of the chase early but instead patched together a series of starts, leaving them needing eight an over through the back 15.
At 150 for five, the reponsibility fell on the shoulders of veteran captain Andrew Ellis and his dependable keeper-batsman Cam Fletcher (37 off 34). The pair clipped their 50-stand off just 66 balls, leaving 80 runs to be found off the last 10 overs with 5 wickets remaining.
Fletcher's dismissal - a botched hook off Matt Bacon - at 190 for six threw another cat amongst the pigeons. Bacon and captain Jacob Duffy each struck again at the death, Duffy crucially removing Ellis as he chopped on at 211 for seven before Bacon made it 216 for eight six balls later.
Now Canterbury needed two a ball in a last-ditch bid for the points, then 30 off the last two overs. Instead Duffy got them nine down with the start of his last set, then wrapped it up three balls later to finish things quickly with a bag of 5-38.
It was Duffy's fourth List A bag, and keeps the Volts alive heading into Sunday's final round.