A maiden bag for Brett Randell | PHOTOSPORT

First-class cricket returns to Alexandra

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ROUND FOUR*

*ND's second match of the season post Alert Level Restrictions, with ability for rounds to be made up at end of scheduled season

OTAGO VOLTS lost to NORTHERN DISTRICTS by an innings and 74 runs

Molyneux Park, Alexandra

22-25 November 2021

SCORES

Toss: ND who bowled

Total points this round:

Otago Volts 3

Northern Districts 18

Selected Milestones

Max Chu & Jake Gibson: record 9th wicket stand for Volts v ND (104)

Jake Gibson: maiden first-class half century

Max Chu: maiden first-class century

Brett Randell: maiden first-class bag 26-7-56-5

Henry Cooper: 6th first-class century

Michael Rippon: fourth first-class five-wicket bag

DAY FOUR

Joe Walker | PHOTOSPORT

Northern Districts powered up big-time with the bat, then ripped the Volts' batting to shreds for their first win of the 2021/22 season.

It was ND's second match of the summer after their lockdown-delayed start, and Joe Carter and his men made up for some lost time with an impressive innings victory away in Alexandra - the Volts now needing to pick up their chins just days out from the start of their Dream11 Super Smash campaign, at home in Dunedin on Sunday.

An injury to ND allrounder Brett Hampton as well as Scott Kuggeleijn during the match will have troubled ND just ahead of the white-ball season, and Hampton did not bat in their mammoth first-innings total of 553/9 that set up their innings victory.

Closing their account early in the first session, it was ND's sixth highest first-class total and, despite an unbeaten 68* from Volts first drop Dale Phillips, the hosts fell apart under the weight on the last day.

Brett Randell finished with seven for the match and kicked off a successful last day by trapping Otago captain Hamish Rutherford in his first over.

Then spinner Joe Walker set in motion one of his best days of first-class cricket with fellow opening batsman Mitch Renwick bowled for just 11.

Walker went on to 4-47, as well as running out the dangerous Nick Kelly for no score.

Zak Gibson chimed in with 3-30 and, from 72/4 at lunch, by tea the Volts were staring down the barrel at 125/7 before finding themselves all out and defeated on 137, in just 66 overs.

Earlier, Volts spinner Michael Rippon had claimed a five-wicket bag from the ND innings to at least console himself in a heavy loss.

DAY THREE

A day after Max Chu's maiden Plunket Shield century for the Volts, ND's Henry Cooper blasted his highest first-class score as well, with a stunning double ton of exactly 200 - profiting on a flat Alexandra wicket.

The day began well for ND, and for nightwatchman Brett Randell (50) who continued his scorching statchat with his second first-class half century.

But Cooper was the star of the day, ejoying his cut shot with 21 fours and four sixes in a nine-hour knock.

It was Cooper's first double ton and he shared meaty partnerships with Randell (107 for the second wicket) and Bharat Popli (179 for the third wicket) after his century stand for the first wicket as well on the previous day with Jeet Raval.

It was only after Cooper's dismissal that the Volts attack started to get back in the game, but ND was already en route to a massive total of 547/7 by stumps - a lead of 205 in the first innings with three in hand.

DAY TWO

In his first match of the summer last week, ND paceman Brett Randell hit the season running with a career-best 4-32 in the first innings against leaders Canterbury and a match analysis of 7-67, also a career-best.

Today he took the final two Otago wickets in the first innings to seal his maiden first-class bag, with an outstanding return of 5-56 off his 26 overs, and seven maidens.

But Randell was made to sweat for it, and his figures would have been even better had it not been for a determined ninth wicket century stand from Volts wicketkeeper-batsman Max Chu and Jake Gibson.

The pair comprised the incumbent overnight batsman 21-year-old Chu and Gibson, the new man on the second morning after the loss of Angus McKenzie - Randell's fourth wicket.

Chu went on to reach his maiden first-class century, fulfilling his promise after his bittersweet 94 on a flat road against the Central Stags in Dunedin three or so weeks earlier.

The pair batted on in a morning session in which ND would have been hopeful of quickly taking both the last two wickets they needed, but it was 303/8 at lunch, on a day that began at 185/7.

The Volts had picked up and contracted Jake Gibson in the offseason (not to be confused with his cousin Zak Gibson who was playing for ND) and he went on to an even 50 off 88 balls in almost two hours at the crease before he was caught behind off Randell for the bag.

Cousin Zak then took care of the last wicket to dismiss the Volts for 342, leaving Chu unbeaten on 103* after an almost six-hour effort.

In reply Northern Districts put on a performance of their own with the bat, having reached 162/1 by stumps off 51 overs to trail by 180 heading into the third day.

Henry Cooper was unbeaten on 63 while fellow opening batsman Jeet Raval was dismissed on 89, just 10 deliveries before stumps, after a 161-run stand for the first wicket.

Brett Randall finished his memorable day as nightwatchman.

DAY ONE

Fresh off a hard fought loss to Canterbury, Northern Districts named an unchanged XI for the last first-class match of the calendar year.

The match was the first Plunket Shield fixture at the attractive Central Otago ground since December 2018 when the Volts hosted the Central Stags - who had poured on 511 runs in their first innings. But when ND captain Joe Carter won the toss, he sent in his hosts, the Otago Volts.

The Volts had chalked up a loss, draw and win from their first three matches of the championship but had a tough start, losing an early wicket with one of the form opening batsman Mitch Renwick trapped by Brett Randell for no score.

Randell had been key to ND in the previous match and again had a good day out after a preseason tweak to his action, sitting on 3-22 off 14 overs by stumps after rain interrupted and curtailed the last session.

After Renwick had departed scoreless, he picked up Dale Phillips cheaply too while Colin de Grandhomme accounted for the big wicket of captain Hamish Rutherford.

Rutherford had eked out 37 before he was caught at 79/3, and wickets kept falling at fairly regular intervals.

Nick Kelly was the best of the batsmen with 57, going on after a 49-stand with his skipper but after he was caught off Scott Kuggeleijn, Otago still had a lot of work to do at 115/5.

Max Chu was unbeaten on 30* overnight, having just lost partner Travis Muller for the same score at 185/7.

Volts paceman Jacob Duffy heads into this match on 193 wickets for Otago (203 in his overall first-class career) and will no doubt have been taking notes.

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