The Central Stags cruised to a ten wicket thrashing over the Otago Volts on day four of their Plunket Shield match at McLean Park, Napier.
Resuming the day at 237 for eight with a lead of just 18, no miraculous recovery or rain came to their aid, as the Stags surpassed their 20 run lead in just 4.5 overs.
Jeet Raval (14*) and Jamie How (5*) had all the time in the world to reach the meagre target and did so in a tidy fashion to claim the points and further extend their lead on the points table.
Earlier Andrew Mathieson cleaned up the tail in style, allowing the Volts to add only two more runs to their overnight total.
The 23 year-old walked away with career best figures for his efforts, claiming a five wicket bag in his 20 overs for 39 runs.
It capped off a truly dominant display from the Stags, who held the momentum for almost the entire match.
The win elevates them to 63 points – a whopping 30 in front of the Otago Volts in second place. The Stags next face the Wellington Firebirds on December 10th.
Day three: Volts staring at defeat to Stags
The Otago Volts face the near impossible task of holding the Central Stags off tomorrow, having been reduced to 237 for eight after the follow on was enforced.
The Volts lead by just 18 runs with two wickets in hand, leaving the Stags with a great chance to go top of the Plunket Shield points table should they complete the win.
Having resumed the day at 232 for nine, the Volts scraped their way to 257 - still 219 runs behind the Stags total. Ian Butler was brilliant with a spirited 73 not out, but it wouldn’t be enough to avoid the follow on.
As expected, the Volts were put in to bat again and were in desperate need of a big partnership to save the match. Initial signs were good, as the opening pair of Aaron Redmond and Hamish Rutherford took their side to 100 without loss.
Both players brought up half-centuries, only for disaster to strike just a few overs later when they were dismissed in the space of two runs.
From there the Volts entered a downward spiral, with a number of players making starts, but no-one following through. Neil Broom (24) and Sam Wells(28) did their best to stick around, but the Stags broke through the Volts’ defences far too regularly.
The match looked to be heading for a day three finish at 217 for eight, but a determined 20 not out from Mark Craig means the Volts will survive another day.
Having scored a century in the first innings, Cachopa picked up three key wickets for the Stags to show his immense all-round value. Andrew Mathieson also claimed three scalps, while Jeet Raval chipped in with two.
Barring intervention from the weather Gods, it should be enough to get them the points tomorrow.
Stags dominate day two
It was all the Central Stags on day two of their Plunket Shield match against the Otago Volts, with some extraordinary lower order batting and effective bowling putting them firmly on top.
Tarun Nethula and Adam Milne both brought up career best First-Class scores at the start of the day to see their side to 476 all out. The bowling attack didn’t let the Stags down either, as they restricted the Volts to 232 for nine at the end of the day’s play.
The Volts were in a spot of bother almost from the get go in their pursuit, losing two wickets inside the opening three runs. It got worse before it got better, as Aaron Redmond was dismissed on 15 to leave the visitors reeling at 22 for three.
Neil Broom put up some fight with 25, but it was Sam Wells who the main contributor for the Volts with a much needed 78 from 87 balls.
The all-rounder struck 11 fours in his 141 minutes at the crease, but saw many of his teammates come and go in that time as well.
The situation got further out of hand when he himself went in the 40th over to leave the Volts 157 for seven.
Not for the first time this season, Ian Butler came to the rescue for the southerners and finished the day unbeaten on 53.
The dynamic number nine has put in a number of pivotal performances with the bat and did so again today, as he brought up his fifth First-Class half-century.
He will resume tomorrow with number 11 Blair Soper on nought and will no doubt be intent on digging into the Stags lead as much as possible.
Adam Milne spear-headed the bowling attack and picked up impressive figures of five for 44 from 12 overs.
Earlier Milne had combined with Tarun Nethula to put on a quite staggering show at the end of the innings.
Resuming on 87 from yesterday, Nethula went on to make his maiden First-Class century. It was a special moment for the 29 year-old, with the milestone coming off 202 balls.
His brilliant innings came to an end on 108, but Milne was far from finished for the Stags. The strike bowler showed remarkable talent with the blade and also looked to be heading to his first century.
Sadly for Milne he would fall heartbreakingly close, as Butler trapped him on 97 after 127.2 overs.
It marked the end of an incredible innings, with the Stags adding a whopping 207 for the last three wickets.
The Volts will resume tomorrow still trailing by 244 runs.
Day one: Cachopa century leads Stags
Carl Cachopa has brought up yet another ton in the Plunket Shield, helping his Central Stags side to 367 for seven against the Otago Volts at McLean Park, Napier.
The 26 year-old played with a fantastic temperament to make 123 off 210 balls and incredibly bring up his sixth century in eight matches. His support came mainly from the middle and lower order, after the Volts had made good headway earlier on.
The southerners had plenty of reasons to smile, dismissing four of the top five batsmen for under 15, but the one that remained hurt them in a big way.
Cachopa blocked out the good balls and punished the bad, in an innings which lasted over five hours. He brought up his century off 158 deliveries and took his side past the 250 mark.
It will send a big message to the BLACKCAPs selectors, with the talented all-rounder having had a huge start to the Plunket Shield season so far.
Along the way he found assistance from Peter Trego (30) and Tarun Nethula, with the latter continuing to hurt the Volts after Cachopa’s dismissal.
The lower-order batsman showed he was more than capable with the bat and remained at the crease until the end of the day unbeaten on 87.
He will resume tomorrow with Adam Milne (38*) who has once again show he too can stick around.
The Volts will be disappointed not to have cleaned up the Stags, having had them in a very vulnerable position early on.
Blair Soper was useful with two early wickets, while Jacob Duffy and Ian Butler also picked up a couple each.
Play will resume again tomorrow at 10:30am.