Canterbury lost to Otago Volts by 3 wickets at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora on 3 December 2017
• Jeremy Benton: List A Debut
• Fraser Sheat: List A Debut
• Michael Pollard: Canterbury List A debut (previously Wellington Firebirds)
• Rob Nicol: Otago Volts List A debut (previously Auckland Aces)
• Shawn Hicks: Otago Volts List A Debut (previously Auckland Aces)
• Hamish Rutherford: 2000 List A runs when he reached 65
• Otago Volts: first wicket partnership record v Canterbury (previously 129 Hamish Rutherford, Iain Robertson)
• Otago Volts: first wicket partnership against all teams (previously 165 v Auckland Aces; Hamish Rutherford, Aaron Redmond)
• Hamish Rutherford: 6th List A Century and 3rd for Otago Volts
Opening their defence at the very ground where they had claimed The Ford Trophy last season, Canterbury didn’t get off to an ideal start in their 2017/18 one-day campaign as the Volts hunted down a target of 222 with two and a half overs to spare, entering the record books along the way.
England international Ben Stokes and erstwhile Christchurch-born Kiwi made his Canterbury and Ford Trophy debut, but was bowled by Anaru Kitchen for just two runs — a wicket the spinning allrounder called the biggest of his career.
Kitchen (1-34), better recognised for his influential batting, struck early in his spell as he found Stokes’s inside edge.
Given that the hosts had been five for two when he walked in, and were now eight for three after having been sent in by Volts captain Rob Nicol, the home crowd was a little hushed.
Opening batsman Michael Pollard, making his white ball debut for the team he went up against last season in the Final, remained and got a start with 30, sharing a 62-run fourth wicket stand with Cole McConchie (40) to steady the red and black ship.
The loss of the pair saw Cam Fletcher and Todd Astle take control from just the 20-over mark, growing a 56-run stand for the sixth wicket, Astle the sole Canterbury batsman to reach a half century before becoming one of Jack Hunter’s trio of victims in the young paceman’s impressive 3-19.
Jeremy Benton added a quick unbeaten 40 on debut but the hosts would walk off the park nine down knowing they would need an outstanding performance with the ball to atone.
However, their day went from indifferent to worse as Volts opener Hamish Rutherford (100) put the visitors in control of the chase with his sixth List A century in a record-breaking 175-run opening stand with Nicol (78).
Remarkably, once the duo fell consecutively in the 36th and 37th overs, the Volts went into a nosedive, careering from 175 without loss to 198 for seven and suddenly Canterbury was right back in it before Shawn Hicks and Jacob Duffy settled down the dust and steered the Volts home.
Canterbury now heads away to visit the Auckland Aces at Eden Park Outer Oval on Wednesday while the Volts head home to University of Otago Oval to face the Firebirds in round two.