The Volts needed an epic win and luck to make the Ford Trophy playoffs. They would get the first part at least, thanks to a blazing Anaru Kitchen century.
How it happened
• Returning Volts captain Jimmy Neesham won the toss and bowled, then made the first breakthrough claiming Northern Districts captain Dean Brownlie early.
• Bharat Popli, however, held strong for ND with 69, steadying the ship alongside Corey Anderson who reached 32 before he was bowled by youngster Nathan Smith on the cusp of a 50-stand.
• Firebrand Nick Kelly lifted the pace with his 67 off 66, losing Popli en route but not before a rollicking 88-run stand for the third wicket.
• Neesham (3-58) came back to stop Kelly on 69, but Daryl Mitchell was already shaping as even more dangerous and went on to slam an unbeaten 72 off just 48 balls, including three sixes, with power hitter Brett Hampton also ladelling a few quick runs on at the end as ND got up to 288 for six.
• The Volts knew they would have to smash their runs in reply at quick smart pace to have any playoff hopes at all, and Anaru Kitchen proved himself up to that challenge. From first drop he slaughtered an unbeaten 143 from just 85 balls (11 fours, eight sixes) in a blistering career best performance.
• It was Kitchen’s fourth List A century and, assisted at the death by Josh Finnie’s 32 off 16, even four wickets from Ish Sodhi couldn’t stop the Volts from racing to what would ultimately be a bittersweet victory in just 35 overs.
• While the Volts bow out, ND has the consolation of now heading to Pukekura Park to contest the 3v4 playoff against Central Districts on Saturday, another winner takes all encounter as the knockouts begin.