Weather gods not playing ball for Otago Volts

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013

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Coach Vaughn Johnson's pacing around the Queens Park pavilion gave it all away.

The Otago Volts are a frustrated team at the moment, a frustrated team that is eager to play cricket but seems to be chasing the rain clouds around the country.

The Volts' recent trip to Whangarei to take on Northern Districts in a four-day Plunket Shield game turned into a flop as they spent most of the game watching rain fall.

They tried to manufacture a result, declaring their first innings closed at 93 for six but the end result was a draw.

Yesterday, they arrived at Queens Park in Invercargill for day one of their four-day game against Wellington with hope the weather gods were about to play their part and they could prove their worth on the field.

Play got under way at 10.30am and, with no rain visible on the rain radar, there was hope a full day's play would be able to be squeezed in.

However, in a nasty twist, just 36.1 overs were able to be bowled before rain swept over the ground to become the major player yesterday.

Jesse Ryder went to lunch 34 not out and in ominous form as the Volts looked to build a big first-innings total.

It was setup for an intriguing afternoon's cricket as a smattering of people graced the Queens Park ground to catch a glimpse of the elegant left-handed Ryder in action.

Volts captain Derek de Boorder won the toss and elected to bat first in what were regarded as good batting conditions.

The Volts made a solid start when Black Caps Aaron Redmond and Neil Broom got their team through to 40 inside nine overs.

However, just when there was a feeling Redmond was going to cash in, he left a ball that clipped his pad and he was adjudged lbw.

Michael Bracewell then followed relatively quickly for just four when he edged a ball through to Michael Papps at slip from the bowling of Brent Arnel and the home side was reduced to 45 for two.

Bracewell's dismissal brought Ryder to the crease and he and Broom settled proceedings, putting on 65 for the third wicket before Broom was caught at cover.

Sam Wells lasted just five balls, reducing the Volts to 111 for four.

Ryder and Nathan McCullum got their team through to 127 for four when the lunch break was called at 1pm.

Rain fell during lunch, forcing ground staff to put the covers on.

The rain eased to the point play was able to start after the lunch break and there was confidence they may still get plenty of cricket in.

Only 4.1 more overs were added before the rain started again and this time it came down heavily and didn't look like easing.

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At 4pm, play was officially called off for the day.

Ryder finished the day unbeaten on 39, which included seven well-timed boundaries, while McCullum is 15 not out.

Play is scheduled to start at 10am today.with clear skies forecast.

- The Southland Times

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