The Otago Volts fought back tenaciously to give themselves a Ford Trophy lifeline by eliminating the Canterbury Wizards in their one-day competition minor semifinal today.
A character-filled 12-run win at Dunedin’s University Oval earned the Volts a spot in the preliminary final on Wednesday against the Auckland Aces
Defending just 172, the home side were seemingly out of the contest as the Wizards progressed without fuss to 93 for one in the 24th over.
But the dismissal of Shanan Stewart, who scored 31 off 34 balls in a second wicket partnership of 68 with captain Peter Fulton, was a prelude of things to come.
Fulton, who patiently made 53 off 104, soon followed when seamer Jimmy Neesham extracted extra bounce to get a top edge before the rot truly set in for the visitors as the Volts swooped.
Neesham removed Henry Nicholls and Todd Astle in the 35th over as the Wizards slumped to 130 for five then left-arm quick Neil Wagner had Reece Young caught for 21 edging behind and for the first time in the match the Volts were making all the running.
The last nine wickets tumbled for 67 runs, and the last seven for only 30, as the Wizards’ middle and lower order could not deny a Volts side making the most of the late momentum which swung their way.
Neesham was in the thick of the action as he returned the outstanding figures of four for 23 off his 10 overs as well as running out Logan van Beek with a direct hit.
Neesham’s workload was complete by the time the last wicket fell as part-timer Craig Cumming trapped Ryan McCone leg before wicket in the 46th over.
Earlier, allrounder Sam Wells topscored for the Volts with 41 off 46 balls while 25 from Cumming and 21 from Neesham were the only other contributions of any note.
The Wizards bowlers had the upperhand once opener Hamish Rutherford was removed for 11 with the total on 31 in the fifth over.
Young fast bowler Matt Henry continued his impressive season in all formats of the game to be the leading wicket taker with three for 46 off nine overs while new left-arm paceman Ed Nuttall did well on debut to claim two for 25 off six and van Beek ended with two for 40 off 8.5.