Otago Volts v Canterbury at University of Otago Oval, Dunedin 2-5 April 2018
First innings batting bonus points: Canterbury 1 (completed), Otago Volts 2 (completed)
First innings bowling bonus points: Otago Volts 4 (maximum achieved), Canterbury 4 (maximum achieved)
Result: Canterbury won by 95 runs
- Matt Bacon: Career best first-class bowling figures (previous best 3/21)
- Jeff Case: Highest first-class score
- Theo van Woerkom: Highest first-class score
- Fraser Sheat: Highest first-class score
- Michael Davidson: Highest first-class score. Previous best 73*
- Michael Davidson: Maiden first-class century
- Warren Barnes: career best first-class bowling figures (previous best 6-66)
DAY FOUR - in progress
Chasing 266 for victory in Dunedin on the last day of the 2017/18 season, the Otago Volts lost three early wickets, all to young paceman Fraser Sheat.
The loss of Derek de Boorder on the stroke of lunch then had the Volts 71 for four, still trailing by 195 with Jimmy Neesham joining Anaru Kitchen (23*) after the break.
Canterbury kept chipping away in the middle session and after removing Neesham on 42, the Volts fell away to hand their neighbours a 95-run win, with captain Rob Nicol having been unable to bat after having broken his hand earlier in the match.
The result didn't save former champions Canterbury from last place on the table, however.
Earlier, 25-year-old Warren Barnes had continued his strong performance with the ball for the Otago Volts, carrying on from his overnight four-fa to wrap up the Canterbury fightback with a career best 6-64 off just 18.1 overs, displacing his previous best of 6-66. Canterbury's Andrew Ellis meanwhile reached his half century before becoming the final wicket to fall, all out for 304.
Retiring hurt after being felled by a bouncer on 101, Canterbury opener Michael Davidson's maiden century was the highlight of the penultimate day of the season in Dunedin's southern derby, Andrew Ellis carrying on through to stumps unbeaten on 46* to see Canterbury end a solid day at 294 for eight.
That equated to a 255-run lead heading into the final day but it was an unfortunate finish for Davidson who copped a nasty blow on the helmet.
Warren Barnes was again to the fore for the Volts, the lively paceman claiming 4-64 to keep his side in the game but it had been Canterbury's day thanks to the 183-run partnership between Davidson and fresh number five Jeff Case who drew agonisingly close to a milestone of his own with 90 in just his second Plunket Shield appearance.
The pair had ensured Canterbury recovered from a rocky start to the morning, losing two quick wickets to plunge to 12 for three.
Davidson's maiden ton arrived after almost five hours of consolidation, off 207 balls (16 x 4, 1 x 6).
Canterbury will begin day three in Dunedin at 11 for one in their second dig, looking to write off their small deficit of 28 in the battle of the 2017/18 wooden spoon.
Paceman Warren Barnes had claimed his fourth wicket of the match in the penultimate over late on day two, promptly getting through Chad Bowes' defences after the Volts had found themselves with a handful of overs to bowl before stumps.
The Volts had been effectively bowled out for 264, with captain Rob Nicol having retired hurt on 12 for no addition to his overnight score, and the wickets shared around the youthful Cantabrian attack.
After a handful of starts in the top order, it was Jimmy Neesham who brought the middle session alive, flaying the attack as he raced to a half century at run-a-ball pace.
He punched his third six off Cole McConchie before heading into tea on 62, Michael Rippon keeping him company as they slashed their first innings deficit down to just 21.
He would charge on to 79 at run-a-ball pace before finally being undone by spinner Theo van Woerkom, while Rippon kept going for a half ton of his won to take the Volts from 252 for six to 264 for nine and the end of the innings.
After a briefly rain-delayed start to the Easter Monday and the final match of the summer for the Volts and neighbours Canterbury, the hosts continued their heartening finish to a tough season.
For former champs Canterbury, too, it had been a challenging summer, but with their focus now on laying plans for the next season there was plenty left to achieve.
Their youngish squad would certainly be in for a good challenge, too, once the Volts won the toss and inserted them on a green April deck. The hosts then got off to a perfect start, opener Michael Davidson out for a diamond duck after a Matt Bacon zinger had him to edging behind first ball of the match, a wicket maiden to start proceedings.
Canterbury scratched their way to 52 for two before a double blow hobbled the recovery, Chad Bowes on 20* losing both Jess Case and Canterbury captain Cole McConchie in the space of three balls as Warren Barnes celebrated a double wicket maiden.
Already reeling at 54 for four, tat quickly became 57 for five as Matt Bacon, back for his second spell, claimed Andrew Ellis, Canterbury going to lunch at 58 for five with Bowes hanging in there on 21* and Cameron Fletcher on 1* at the break.
Bowes would soldier on for an impressive 85, and the Canterbury total was also assisted by a late order 41 from spinner Theo van Woerkom before Bacon (4-55) and Barnes (3-48) claimed their respective wickets.
They helped ensure Canterbury got through to a tally of 225, the Volts 5/1 in reply overnight after a quick strike from paceman Andrew Hazeldine saw Brad Wilson removed for no score.