Wizards keep pace in HRV Cup

Canterbury Wizards stayed in the chase for a place in the final of the HRV Cup with a clinical six-wicket victory over Otago Volts at QEII in Christchurch.

The victory brings Canterbury level with Northern Knights on 12 points after four games each, one win behind leaders Auckland who have 16.

Both Canterbury and Northern also have a game in hand over Auckland.

Today's win at QE2 park was set up by opener Rob Nicol who stroked a breezy 75 off 54 balls including five boundaries and four sixes, before exiting late in the 19th over when Canterbury were just five runs from passing Otago's total of 168 for seven.

South African all rounder Ryan ten Doeschate provided solid support for Nicol while putting on a 72-run partnership for the sixth wicket and ended the match 45 not out from just 25 balls.

Otago, with the McCullum brothers back from international duty looked set to break their duck but Brendon McCullum, looking set for a big score at 21 runs from 13 balls, deflected the ball into his stumps while trying to execute his risky trademark flick shot over the keeper with the last ball he faced.

Fellow opener Aaron Redmond stuck around for a responsible 55 but a middle order collapse left Otago struggling to lodge a competitive score at 113 for five with five overs to go.

But bowler Ian Butler launched a cavalier attack which netted five booming sixes and a four on the way to a 46 not out off 20 balls to help Otago to a competitive total after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat.

The result saw winless Otago firmly rooted at the bottom of the table after five games with two more matches to come this week - away to Auckland on Saturday and against Northern Districts at Mt Maunganui on Sunday.


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