Volts draw runs-laden game

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

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The Otago Volts-Auckland Aces Plunket Shield game ended in a predictable tame draw yesterday as bat continued to dominate the ball.

Auckland started day four 175 for five in their second innings, 206 runs ahead of Otago.

They progressed to 310 for eight with Gareth Hopkins bringing up his 16th first-class century before it was decided with no result likely that the game would be called off.

● The Northern Knights claimed an unlikely victory over Canterbury in Gisborne yesterday, making the most of two sporting declarations and a super spell from Ish Sodhi.

Sodhi claimed career-best figures of five for 29 in 12.5 overs to skittle Canterbury for only 73 in the fourth innings, handing Northern a 310-run win.

On Saturday afternoon, you'd be forgiven for thinking there would be no result in the match as Canterbury motored through to 139 without loss in their first innings at Harry Barker Reserve.

Rain had prevented play for much of day two on Friday as Northern made 482 in their first dig, with Mitchell Santner scoring 118 from 222 balls, and captain Daniel Flynn scoring 101 opening the innings.

When Canterbury finally got their turn to bat, rain again interrupted play on Friday and Saturday morning.

However, when they did bat, Northern couldn't find a wicket, and Canterbury captain Peter Fulton made a sporting declaration on Saturday afternoon, 343 runs behind the hosts.

Northern coach James Pamment said there was no collusion, but his side knew what Canterbury was doing - searching for an outright result in the match to extend their lead in the first-class competition.

Brad Wilson and Daniel Flynn batted for only 10 overs in the second innings, ending on 40 without loss before they too declared, leaving Canterbury 384 runs to win in 95 overs.

Having claimed no wickets in 46 overs in the previous innings, it still looked unlikely Northern could force a result.

Instead, it took only 36.5 overs for the Knights to roll through Canterbury, on the back of an incredible bowling effort from the home team.

Graeme Aldridge started the rot, getting Tom Latham lbw in the fourth over.

Trent Boult was in on the action a few overs later, removing Dean Brownlie, and Peter Fulton fell two balls later to Aldridge.

Rob Nicol was next, falling lbw to Scott Kuggeleijn, and then it was the Sodhi show.

The Black Caps test legspinner rolled through the rest of the lineup for his best first-class figures, and even added the runout of Shanan Stewart to his stunning fourth innings effort.

● A win, probably for the Firebirds, seemed a certainty two days ago. But rain and stubborn Stags batting saw honours left even in Napier, after CD closed at 290 for seven in search of the 353 that Wellington had set them to win on the final day.

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