Wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder smacked a six off the final ball of the match to snatch a thrilling HRV Cup Twenty20 win for the Otago Volts over the Central Stags in Dunedin today.
The Volts won the match by four wickets at University Oval after de Boorder deposited a short wide ball from Graham Napier over the boundary at square leg to see his side overtake the Stags’ 158 for seven.
De Boorder did not have the benefit of a sighter, having marched to the middle a ball earlier when Dimitri Mascarenhas slapped a catch to Tarun Nethula.
At the non-striker’s end was Jimmy Neesham, whose 18-ball cameo produced an unbeaten 34 to ensure the good work of opener Brendon McCullum did not go to waste.
It was McCullum who gave his side a sniff of victory as he made a quality 79 off 63 balls, containing five sixes and two fours, before holing out in the deep in the penultimate over.
He departed leaving the Volts needing another 11 runs off seven balls and 21-year-old allrounder Neesham and de Boorder were up to the challenge
Two of McCullum’s sixes came off seam Michael Mason, who finished with the fine figures of three for 31 off four overs while Doug Bracewell impressed at the top when he delivered his four overs at a cost of only 14 runs.
The Stags’ innings had earlier been dominated by an eye-catching 95 by Ross Taylor after they had looked in disarray at 38 for three.
Taylor belted his runs off only 49 balls as he smacked eight sixes to complement three fours and he was principally responsible for 67 runs flowing off the last five overs.
He was just one solid swing of the bat short of his second T20 century when he was caught by Aaron Redmond on the edge of the circle off the bowling of seamer Ian Butler in the 19th over.
It came as a blessed relief for Butler, who had been carted for six sixes by Taylor, three of them off successive deliveries.
Butler ended with three wickets but they came at some cost as his four overs conceded 53 runs.
Left-arm fast bowler Neil Wagner accounted for captain Jamie How for one in the second over and ended with two for 30 off four while spinner Nick Beard was excellent in taking one for 17 off his four.