Otago Volts v Auckland Aces at University of Otago Oval, 25-28 March 2018
Batting Bonus Points: Otago Volts 3, Auckland Aces 0
Bowling Bonus Points: Auckland Aces 4, Otago Volts 4
Total points this round: Volts 19, Aces 4
Result: Otago Volts won by an innings and 37 runs inside two days.
Rallying at the end of a difficult summer, the Otago Volts produced a dominant display with the ball to defeat the Auckland Aces in Dunedin.
The Aces had resumed the day at 28 for two in reply to their host's first innings of 305 but were in immediate trouble, losing Robbie O’Donnell (6) in just the second over of the morning.
Nightwatchman Matt McEwan (39) kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Aces, but wickets fell at the other end with alarming regularity.
Craig Cachopa (23) was the only other batsman to make a contribution of note, the last man to fall as the first innings unravelled to 134 all out.
The Aces had entered this round needing a big push, and luck in the other games, to keep themselves in contention for the $75,000 Plunket Shield title but their first innings woes soon chopped their faint hopes in half.
The Volts then enforced the follow on to keep the pressure on, that decision paying immediate dividends with Michael Guptill Bunce (8) falling in the third over.
Jacob Duffy (5-29) was excellent for the Volts, ripping through the Aces' batsmen in quick time.
Mark Chapman (41) provided some resistance. However, when he fell to Jimmy Neesham (1-28, above) the writing was on the wall that the Aces were about to be bumped out with a shocking two-day defeat for good measure.
Slumping to 134 all out, they handed the Volts a comfortable innings and 37-run victory.
The Auckland Aces are locked in a tight battle with the Otago Volts after day one at University of Otago Oval.
Aces captain Michael Guptill-Bunce won the toss and put his bowlers to work, Lockie Ferguson (5-63, the fast bowler's 10th first-class five-wicket bag) getting the Aces off to a flier by dismissing Hamish Rutherford for a duck.
Neil Broom (42) and Brad Wilson (31) steadied the ship for the Volts, putting on 79 for the second wicket.
That man Ferguson returned to the attack, however, and dismissed both Broom and Anaru Kitchen in the same over to leave the Volts needing to start again at 79/3.
From there, Matt McEwan (2-75) and Ben Lister (2-48) both chipped in with a few wickets to keep the Aces on top.
However, Derek de Boorder (46) batted well with the tail, frustrating the Aces and carrying his side past the 300-mark, while Jacob Duffy pumped his career-best 46 off just 56 balls for some late runs, his revious best from 47 matches having been just 37.
After Duffy was caught behind just shy of his fifty, Ferguson picked up the last wicket to secure his five-wicket haul, the hosts finishing their first dig at 305 all out.
The Aces lost openers Sean Solia (5, above) and Michael Guptill-Bunce (14) shortly before stumps and will resume tomorrow at 28/2 with nightwatchman Matt McEwan (0*) and Robbie O’Donnell (4*) at the crease.
Matt Bacon (who made an unbeaten 22) made his first-class debut for the Volts.