A memorable match double from Hamish Rutherford ensured there was nothing remotely dull about his Otago team’s Plunket Shield draw against Northern Districts.
Rutherford became just the eighth Otago batsman to score a century in each innings of a first-class match as they reached 308 for five in their second innings on the last day when chasing 312 for victory at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
The 22-year-old left-hander, who entered the match with just 131 runs from six first-class appearances, backed up his first innings 107 with an aggressive 118 in three hours after the Knights were dismissed for 239 immediately after lunch.
Left 67 overs to pursue maximum points the Volts were on target to pull off a fine win when Rutherford and Craig Cumming produced an opening partnership of 153 inside 40 overs.
Rutherford again showed his liking for the boundary as he dominated the scoring but Cumming was the perfect foil, making 54 in 158 minutes before James Baker had him caught by Brandon Hiini.
Rutherford joined him in the pavilion five overs later when young spinner Mitchell Santner accepted a return catch to end a lively knock which featured 13 fours and five sixes off 120 balls.
His departure saw allrounder Jimmy Neesham rise to the occasion by belting 45 off 39 balls with five fours and two sixes to leave Otago primed to go all the way.
But when Neesham was caught off Brandon Hiini and Neil and Darren Broom came and went cheaply, Otago became more cautious and were left requiring 15 off the final over from Hiini.
Eleven were forthcoming, including a six off the last ball by Sam Wells which left him unbeaten on 27 off 21 balls, while Michael Bracewell scored 53 not in off 78 balls in a little over two hours in the middle.
Earlier, the Knights made good progress after resuming their second innings at 70 for four as Anton Devcich and Daniel Flynn extended their fifth wicket stand to 94 runs.
Flynn departed for 47 and later Devcich was bowled by left-arm fast bowler Neil Wagner for 93, the second to last man out as the Knights’ last four wickets fell for 20 runs.
Seamer James McMillan ended with the best figures of three for 38 while Wagner took three for 45 and Neesham two for 26.
Hamish Rutherford passed an important career landmark as Otago’s Plunket Shield match against Northern Districts produced two centuries on an entertaining third day in Hamilton.
After Daniel Flynn scored an unbeaten 113 in the Knights’ first innings of 300 for six declared, Rutherford responded with a ton of his own when the Volts replied with 228 for three declared in 50 overs at Seddon Park.
By the close the home side extended their overall lead to 142 runs by reaching 70 for four in their second innings.
Rutherford did not pause too long, raising three figures for the first time at first-class level off only 91 deliveries after adopting his trademark forthright approach.
The 22-year-old left-hander dealt mainly in boundaries, with 19 fours and two sixes flowing in 130 minutes before he departed for 107 when trapped leg before wicket by young spinner Mitchell Santner.
Neil Broom picked up where Rutherford left off as Otago continued to score at a good clip, passing 50 off 58 deliveries and going on to contribute 72 not out off 88 balls in 128 minutes, with 10 fours and two sixes.
Earlier, another left-hander in Flynn prospered after resuming on 31 with the Knights on 143 for four after the entire second day was lost to rain.
His overnight partner, Joseph Yovich, progressed from 56 to 89 before being bowled by Jimmy Neesham to end a fifth wicket stand which realised 131 runs, but 26-year-old Flynn forged on to post his ninth first-class century.
By the time the declaration came Flynn had faced just 117 balls in 195 minutes and peppered the boundary with 14 fours and three sixes in his third first-class appearance since undergoing a hip operation.
The Knights had to do without their internationals, with spinner Daniel Vettori and seamers Trent Boult and Brent Arnel called away to join the New Zealand squad preparing for the first test against South Africa in Dunedin.
The inclement weather sweeping the North Island ensured no play was possible on the second day of the Plunket Shield match between Northern Districts and Otago in Hamilton.
It meant the match reached its halfway stage with the Knights on 143 for four in their first innings, a score reached an hour after lunch on the first day when rain forced the teams from Seddon Park.
Providing the skies clear Joseph Yovich is set to resume tomorrow on 52 alongside Daniel Flynn on 31.
Northern Districts began reasserting themselves before rain stalled progress on the opening day of the Plunket Shield match against Otago in Hamilton.
The competition-leading Knights were 143 for four in their first innings when the weather forced the teams to leave Seddon Park 48 minutes after lunch.
The home side were in the midst of rebuilding their innings after being reduced to 34 for three then 77 for four in the morning session as seamer James McMillan made three breakthroughs.
But opener Joseph Yovich, with 52 not out, and Daniel Flynn, unbeaten on 31, held the visitors at bay until the rain arrived.
After Daniel Vettori managed 33, Yovich struck eight boundaries in his 198-minute stay while Flynn cracked five fours in a touch under 1-1/2 hours to enable Northern Districts to end the day still retaining realistic hopes of posting a respectable first innings tally.
McMillan was the best of the Volts attack, taking three for 42 in 13 overs, including the wickets of opener Brad Wilson for five and James Marshall for a three-ball duck in the sixth over of the day.