Opener Jeet Raval steered ND home | PHOTOSPORT

Raval carries bat for last hurrah

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ROUND EIGHT

OTAGO VOLTS lost to NORTHERN DISTRICTS by 3 wickets

University of Otago Oval, Dunedin

3-6 April 2021

SCORES

Toss: Northern Districts who bowled

First innings bonus points

BATTING: Otago Volts 2 ND 1

BOWLING: ND 4 Otago Volts 4

Total points this round: Otago Volts 6, ND 17

DAY FOUR

An assured performance from opening batsman Jeet Raval guided Northern Districts home in a close win over the Otago Volts in the last stanzas of the 2020/21 season.

Raval carried his bat in the run chase for his 17th first-class century - and first Plunket Shield ton for ND, hitting the winning runs with just 20 balls to spare, and just three wickets in hand after the last hour had been taken.

Raval reached 161 not out in his match-winning knock after having helped chase down a formidable 317 for the win. The result saw ND leap-frog the Volts to finish runners-up for the season.

Otago's Michael Rae meanwhile could console himself after finishing as the season's second highest wicket-taker with 29 victims, while Michael Rippon made another late charge with his four wickets through the back half of the ND line-up, heaping pressure on the visitors in the last session.

Northern Districts captain Joe Carter finished as the season's top run-scorer with 590 runs at 53.63, just ahead of Otago Volts captain Hamish Rutherford with 588 at 39.20 and Otago's Nick Kelly with 579 at 44.53.

Michael Bracewell, who had meanwhile scored his second century in the match in Auckland, finished fourth overall with 560 at 40.00.

DAY THREE

The Otago Volts will head into the last day of an impressive summer looking to stop Northern Districts finding 272 runs for victory with 10 wickets in hand.

The Volts gave ND a 316-run overall lead yesterday with Northern seamer Jimmy Baker (5-55) whistling up his seventh first-class bag as the hosts were dismissed for 266.

For the Volts, Nick Kelly provided the lion's share of the runs, having looked on for a last ton of the season before being stumped on 94.

The lower order chipped in to get the Volts extra runs on the board.

Northern will resume on 45 without loss.

DAY TWO

The Volts will take a 132-run overall lead into the third day of their last match, after having dismissed Northern Districts for a 50-run first innings lead.

ND was in trouble at 125/6 and it was only a determined wag of the tail that got them up to 222 before Anaru Kitchen claimed their final wicket.

Fresh off his career best match analysis, bag and hat-trick in the previous match at this ground, Michael Rae again took a leading role in proceedings with 4-55 from his 16 overs, while Jacob Duffy and Travis Muller picked up a brace - ND captain Joe Carter's 40 the top score for the embattled visitors.

ND needed to fight back quickly with the ball and by stumps, seamer Jimmy Baker had picked up two cheap wickets in Hamish Rutherford and Mitch Renwick. But Kitchen (33*) and Nick Kelly (40*) had steadied the ship for the last couple of hours of the last session, and will resume at 82/2.

DAY ONE

Flying under the radar, the Otago Volts have just put together one of their better first-class seasons in years.

The Volts have been this season's surprise package

Second on the ladder after having just beaten the Stags at this same ground, they headed into the last round having not lost a game since October 2020 - and that was against Northern Districts, away at Bay Oval. Now ND was on their own turf to finish the season, the two sides playing each other in the uneven draw this summer.

ND captain Joe Carter won the toss and bowled after an hour's ground delay while his opposite number Hamish Rutherford got his side off to a good start with a half century at the top.

Rutherford's 54 would prove to be the top score in Otago's total of 272 after Northern's attack, led by ex-Volt Neil Wagner and Jimmy Baker, chipped away regularly to stop any partnerships getting away on them.

It was a team effort from the Volts, too, as they threaded together middling stands despite their hosts going up in celebration for their labours every 10 overs or so.

BLACKCAP Ish Sodhi, back in the side for ND, dived low for a brilliant diving, one-handed, wrong-handed caught and bowled to dismiss Max Chu at 227/7 while Baker (3-35) and spinner Joe Walker (3-48) both finished with three-fors.

By the time bad light ended play, the Northerners were 14/0 in response, having negotiated 3.2 overs to trail by 258 overnight.

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