Northern Districts Knights chase quick victory
Northern Knights skipper Daniel Flynn is hopeful his side can nab an outright Plunket Shield win today, despite half their match being rained out.
The Knights gained the upper hand over the Otago Volts on a hectic day three at Cobham Oval in Whangarei yesterday, with the visitors still trailing in their second turn at bat.
After rain ruled out any play on the first two days of the four-day encounter, Flynn won the toss and sent the visitors in yesterday.
After a brisk start from opener Neil Broom, the Knights seam attack quickly made inroads into the Otago batting lineup on a wicket that offered some assistance after being under cover all week.
When struggling at 93 for six after 29 overs, Volts skipper Derek de Boorder decided to pull the plug and declared to put the onus on the Knights. That decision also meant the hosts were only able to gain two first innings bowling points.
''We bowled well, and I thought we earned the right to choose the direction of the game,'' Flynn said.
He and fellow opener Brad Wilson endeavoured to quickly establish that dominance for the hosts.
Wilson made 64 off 108 balls as he and Flynn put on 133 for the first wicket in just 29 overs. Flynn passed 5000 first-class runs on his way to 78 from only 97 balls, featuring 13 fours, but when he was dismissed wickets fell regularly.
No one else made it past 20 for the Knights before Flynn declared with his side at 223-8 after 51.5 overs - meaning Otago received three first innings bowling points while neither side collected any batting points.
''We didn't quite do as well with the bat as what we would have liked,'' Flynn admitted.
''But we've still got an opening to chase an outright result and that was always the goal once we started.''
Flynn said Scott Kuggeleijn (3-26) and Graeme Aldridge (2-31) bowled well on a wicket that wasn't as green as expected yet saw wicketkeeper Cam Fletcher take four first innings catches, but Otago spinner Mark Craig proved to be a thorn as the hosts tried to lift the run rate in reply.
Batting a second time, Otago reached stumps at 44-1 to be 86 runs behind with nine wickets remaining.
''I think we're still well in control,'' Flynn said.
Northern Knights v Otago Volts
Cobham Oval, Whangarei
Otago First Innings
NT Broom b SC Kuggeleijn 22
RM Duffy c CD Fletcher b GW Aldridge 17
MG Bracewell c CD Fletcher b GW Aldridge 12
JD Ryder c AP Devcich b SC Kuggeleijn 21
SR Wells c CD Fletcher b JD Baker 0
NL McCullum c CD Fletcher b SC Kuggeleijn 0
JDS Neesham not out 14
DC de Boorder not out 5
Extras (b 2, nb 0) 2
Total (for 6 wickets declared, 29.0 overs) 93
Fall: 1-28 (NT Broom, 10.4), 2-50 (MG Bracewell, 16.5), 3-55 (RM Duffy, 18.1), 4-60 (SR Wells, 21.6), 5-65 (NL McCullum, 22.4), 6-74 (JD Ryder, 24.2)
Bowling: SC Kuggeleijn 11-2-26-3, GW Aldridge 8-1-31-2, JD Baker 9-2-28-1, DJ Mitchell 1-0-6-0
Northern First Innings
BS Wilson c MD Craig b JM McMillan 64
DR Flynn lbw b JDS Neesham 78
JF Carter run out (MG Bracewell) 2
DJ Mitchell c & b MD Craig 19
AP Devcich c NL McCullum b MD Craig 19
DL Vettori c sub (JA Duffy) b BE Soper 6
SC Kuggeleijn not out 14
CD Fletcher c MG Bracewell b MD Craig 0
JJ Boult run out (JDS Neesham/DC de Boorder) 7
GW Aldridge not out 0
Extras (lb 4, nb 10) 14
Total (for 8 wickets declared, 51.5 overs) 223
Fall: 1-133 (BS Wilson, 28.6), 2-147 (JF Carter, 32.6), 3-170 (DR Flynn, 38.1), 4-182 (DJ Mitchell, 41.4), 5-201 (AP Devcich, 45.2), 6-201 (DL Vettori, 46.2), 7-201 (CD Fletcher, 47.6), 8-223 (JJ Boult, 51.5)
Bowling: BE Soper 6-1-17-1 (3nb), JM McMillan 10-2-43-1, JDS Neesham 9-0-53-1, SR Wells 6-0-25-0 (5nb), JD Ryder 6-0-30-0 (2nb), MD Craig 14.5-2-51-3
Otago Second Innings
NT Broom c CD Fletcher b GW Aldridge 11
RM Duffy not out 12
MG Bracewell not out 19
Extras (lb 0, wd 2, nb 0) 2
Total (for 1 wicket, 17.0 overs) 44
Fall: 1-17 (NT Broom, 7.2)
Bowling: SC Kuggeleijn 5-1-15-0 (2w, DL Vettori 6-2-13-0, GW Aldridge 4-1-14-1, JJ Boult 2-1-2-0.