Hamish Rutherford in a rich vein | Images PHOTOSPORT

Volts sting Stags with outright at Saxton

Video Highlights


CENTRAL STAGS lost to OTAGO VOLTS by 161 runs

Saxton Oval, Stoke, Nelson

7-10 November 2021


Toss: Central Stags who bowled

TOTAL POINTS this round:

Central Stags 6

BATTING: Otago Volts 17


Dale Phillips 2nd first-class century (both against Central Stags)

Hamish Rutherford: 17th first-class century, 12th for Otago Volts and 6th v Central Stags - with two in consecutive matches this season

Mitch Renwick - 3rd first-class century and 2nd v Central Stags - with two in consecutive matches this season

Mitch Renwick did it again | PHOTOSPORT



The Otago Volts declared at 422/7 after Jayden Lennox had turned it square to remove Angus McKenzie, Michael Rippon left unbeaten on 35* after they stretched the Volts' overall lead to 401.

The Stags started positively in the morning session, but calamity struck in just the sixth over when a moment's hesitation by captain Greg Hay - the veteran opening the batting with the scampering young Bayley Wiggins - saw him lost in a tight runout, a victim of Nick Kelly's sure arm at 39/1.

There was no further breakthrough for the wicket-hunting Volts in the session however, the Stags going in on 91/1 at lunch, after 21 overs - 155 runs per session still required.

The breakthrough came quickly afterwards, however, Brad Schmulian falling to Rippon on 44 in unusual circumstances, and opener Wiggins (41) playing on to Matt Bacon just short of a half century.

Schmulian was unfortunate to play the ball into the ground - the ball then bouncing up into his armpit from which it dropped onto the bails.

The Stags' task got bigger when Rippon produced beautiful drift to remove the big wicket of number four Dane Cleaver for just four runs, then 118/4 became 127/5 when Doug Bracewell's stay also proved too short against a delighted Travis Muller as the ball jagged back.

Jumping for joy: Michael Rippon | PHOTOSPORT

Ben Wheeler's 30th birthday didn't go too well when he was trapped by former Nelson local Jarrod McKay at 147/6, the ball jagging back off almost the exact same spot.

The Stags were still 255 runs adrift with a large weight on Tom Bruce as the last recognised batsman in the middle. However, he was still there at tea, having reached his half century on 56* and helped bring up the 200.

The Central Stags were still 199 away at this point and would need 5.85 per over in the final session, with former NZU19 allrounder Joey Field sharing the seventh wicket partnership - and no stranger to a big late stand after his record feats in the U19 World Cup two years ago.

The pair built the largest stand of the innings, a 74-run partnership for the seventh wicket before Field was given LBW as the clock ticked towards 5pm in the final session.

That brought Blair Tickner to the middle with the Stags still 181 in arrears, a minimum of 21 overs remaining and three wickets between the hosts and defeat. Rippon meanahile now had three wickets.

With 17 overs left in the regulation day, the Stags got down to their last wicket - Bruce still defiant at one end. He would be left unbeaten after a hard fought 77* when just nine overs remained in the regulation day, the Volts clambering ahead of the Firebirds on the table into second spot with their gutsy outright. Rippon finished with 3-85.


The Otago Volts won the first session of 'Moving Day' after opening batsmen Hamish Rutherford and Mitch Renwick picked up where they had left off after the previous evening and went through to lunch without loss.

Captain Rutherford sat poised on an aggressive 97 not out at the break, Renwick on 68* with both batsmen fresh off centuries in the previous match against the Stags last week in Dunedin.

Moreover, the Volts had 169 runs on the board in the unbroken first partnership for a growing lead, now standing at 148.

Rutherford, on 99*, reached his 17th century after lunch running two off Joey Field.

However, he was out the very next ball as Field struck back to have him caught by Doug Bracewell after a moment's lapse.

The opening stand had been broken at 173/1 in the 45th over, Renwick on 68* and now joined by the man who had scored a vital Volts century in the first innings, Dale Phillips.

Spinner Jayden Lennox winkled out a second wicket in the session, trapping Phillips shortly before the tea break.

But by then, the Volts had got away on the Stags: 240/2 at the interval with a 219 lead, eight in hand, and opening batsman Renwick still trucking on an unbeaten 111*. Like Rutherford, he had backed up his century in the previous round.

By stumps the Stags had a massive job on their hands to secure the match, the Volts having taken themselves to 374/6 at a good clip in the increasingly benign batting conditions.


The Stags lost both their overnight batsmen, the openers in the morning session, but Brad Schmulian and Dane Cleaver - who had scored centuries together in the previous match and innings against this side - steadied the ship from 55/2, to take the hosts to 114/2 at lunch.

Schmulian was on the cusp of a half ton by then, the Stags still needing 130 to get in front, and he got past his half century again soon after the break.

With Cleaver also drawing near his half century, there were ominous signs for the Volts whose memories didn't need much jogging of the match between these two sides just days earlier in Dunedin.

But they got a stroke of luck when a hesitation between the wickets between the batting pair saw non-striker Cleaver run out on 48 by a sharp Mitch Renwick collect from square of the wicket. The end of a 98-run stand that would prove the best effort from the innings.

The mix-up started a testing little period for the Stags as 153/3 became 181/4 with Schmulian nicking an inside edge onto his middle stump soon after, on 60.

Matt Bacon had made the breakthrough, charging in and picking up another key wicket in in-form Tom Bruce at 208/5.

Now the allrounders were batting and by tea, the Central Stags needed just a further 17 runs to inch into the lead, with five wickets in hand and capable Doug Bracewell and Ben Wheeler in the middle.

But they would lose two further wickets before they overtook their adversaries. Bracewell was bowled by spinner Michael Rippon with a fine nut at 239/6, and Wheeler was gone just two balls later, yorked by Angus McKenzie when the Stags were still five runs in arrears.

Suddenly, a handy position had evaporated in the windy, dry Nelson weather, and the Volts had a chance to storm back into the match with two fresh batsmen at the crease.

By the time the Stags were actually in the lead, they were on the brink at nine down.

Travis Muller (2-48) and Rippon (3-67) had attacked the tail - all while the Stags were still needing a couple of runs for a second batting bonus point.

That point was ticked off as Joey Field picked the boundary balls. Field whacked a quick 20 to take the hosts to a 21-run first innings lead before he was caught in the 91st over after another tumultuous innings in Stoke.

At stumps, the Volts' opening pair of Hamish Rutherford and Mitch Renwick had eaten away that lead already and will resume day three on 45 without loss.


Not even a 5.5 magnitude earthquake could jolt Dale Phillips' concentration as he soldiered towards his second first-class century today at Saxton Oval in Stoke.

Widely felt across New Zealand, the shock waves seemed to bypass the sunny Nelson ground as the 23-year-old dug the Otago Volts out of trouble to post his second Plunket Shield ton - his second century against the Stags, after his maiden effort last summer.

Phillips reached 113, enjoying late support from wicketkeeper-batsman Max Chu (31) and an unbeaten Travis Muller (41 not out) with whom he shared an 81-stand for the eighth wicket.

But it was an otherwise lean return for the Volts against the Stags' pace attack who snaffled five wickets before lunch, the Volts 93/5 at the break after having been sent in.

Doug Bracewell removed both openers cheaply (each fresh off a century against the same team in the previous match) and went on to pocket 4-53 with Ben Wheeler wrapping up the last wicket in the last session, in 85.5 overs.

With eight overs left in the day, Stags openers Greg Hay and Bayley Wiggins safely navigated the hosts to stumps, and will resume at 21 without loss.

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