OTAGO VOLTS beat CENTRAL STAGS by 65 runs - bonus point win
6 February 2024
University of Otago Oval, Dunedin
Points: Otago Volts 5, Central Stags 0
- Andrew Hazeldine : Maiden five-wicket bag in List A cricket (5/36)
It was Waitangi Day woes for the defending champions with an untimely loss in Dunedin, after Otago Volts quick Andrew Hazeldine defended a middling total with his maiden five-for to keep his team in the hunt for playoffs.
Minus star performers Tom Bruce and Doug Bracewell for the back end of the competition, the Stags had headed into this match in third spot, and won the toss in Dunedin on a surface that wasn't as easy as it looked, making good inroads to hold the Volts to 213/9 in their 50 overs.
But it wasn't the doiminant performance they needed with the ball.
Bevan Small bled too many boundaries and extras at the top, and Thorn Parkes yet again proved a thorn in the Stags' hide with a top score of 53 not out at five.
Keeper Dane Cleaver took an outstanding full-stretch one-handed dive to remove Llew Johnson off Ray Toole who finished his work with three wickets.
There was turn for the spinners meanwhile, Jayden Lennox removing dangerous Dale Phillips in a wicket maiden and there was generally tight work from Toole, Blair Tickner, Lennox and Ajaz Patel that had the Volts under pressure at stages, before some brazen tailend resistance from Hazeldine and Jacob Duffy.
The Stags had needed just over four runs per over which could excuse their cautious start to the chase, 55/1 at the 15-over mark after Hazeldine had earlier removed Curtis Heaphy at 26/1.
Ben Lockrose then zeroed in on the other opener, before Hazeldine got the big wicket of captain Dane Cleaver the very next over, before the form batter had got going.
When Lockrose added the usually stubborn Brad Schmulian a couple of overs later, the Volts had denied the Stags the stable start they had been after, the platform on which to grow their run chase.
In the 24th, Jacob Duffy chimed in by removing another dangerous batter in Will Clark, rocking back his off stump at 98/5.
Now the Volts were fizzing, and even more so when allrounder Small came and went, another one for burly left-arm twirler Lockrose (3/30) as Phillips nailed a brilliant catch, lunging forward and snaffling it one-handed.
Josh Clarkson had been left with a big job to do as he ran out of recognised batters for partners, but he was the next to depart, the following over, at 109/7 after 26.
Tickner and Patel scratched together a 30-run stand but when Hazeldine came back for his last spell, he wrapped things up in a hurry - taking three further wickets to roll the Stags for just 148, the paceman delighted with his match-winning maiden 5/36 off 9.5 overs.
The Volts had moved off the bottom rung of the ladder in the interim, pending other results, with just their second victory of the summer in the one-day format.