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Volts’ bold statement isn’t backed by performance

Well, at least the Otago Volts made a game out of it.

A bold statement showed a willingness to risk their arm, but the Volts couldn’t match it with batting or bowling ability as they were crushed by 213 runs on the final day of the Plunket Shield game against Auckland in the University Oval yesterday.

After rain destroyed most of the weekend, the Volts opted to let their first inning sit at 86 for four.

Declaring 239 points behind is a bold strategy but there was no other choice if there was to be any hope of a result.

Auckland took the bait – and more – and amassed 84 for two from nine overs, at the positively indecent 9.3 run over rate, before declaring.

Black Caps white-ball specialist Glen Phillips did some damage for the Aces, blasting the second-fastest domestic half-century (21 balls) in New Zealand premier class history, slipping seven fours and three sixes in his undefeated 53.

Chasing 324 to win 85 overs, the Volts had to produce either something special to claim victory or deep reserves of application to fight off a draw.

They produced neither.

Mitch Renwick fell in love with a duck on fourth ball of the innings, rookie fly-half Jacob Cumming had a rocky start with 8, Dale Phillips had 18 and Thorn Parkes went for 1 as the Volts limped into lunch at 41 for four.

At 106 for six with 40 overs to survive, Otago’s hopes rested squarely on the shoulders of substitute skipper Nick Kelly, and he battled hard for 48 from 109 before falling to rookie pacer Simon Keene.

At 20, Keene showed his potential by tearing up the tail for a first five-wicket sack, finishing with five for 24 to go with two wickets in the opening innings as Otago melted for 110.

It made it two out of two in first-class cricket for the Aces, who are making up for lost time in a lockdown-delayed season.

The Volts won’t play another Plunket Shield game until March 11, but they are back in action on Friday with a Ford Trophy game against Northern in Whangarei.