26 Jun, Sunday

Auckland under the pump against Otago


Auckland under the pump against Otago

Praneel HiraAces

Day two against the Otago Volts in Dunedin will not go down as one of Auckland’s great days, after the southern batsmen made hay while Auckland’s failed to fire.

What had been slow scoring at the end of yesterday was kicked into high gear as Christi Viljoen made the most of his chances, and Otago brought up 350. Batting partner Max Chu got in the act, and Viljoen brought up 50.

Eventually Viljoen would flick a ball straight to Ben Lister off the bowling of Jamie Brown, out for 56.

This brought Otago captain Jacob Duffy to the crease, where he began hitting the ball to all parts.

The Aces made their second breakthrough the over before lunch. Chu played a ball from Will Somerville to the leg-side, and as he looked for a single, trod on his stumps. Somerville, already walking back to his mark, didn’t see the wicket – but was happy to claim it all the same.

After lunch, in the second over Glenn Phillips picked up the wicket of Matt Bacon, leaving Otago 441/9.

At the other end, Duffy’s bludgeoning of the Auckland bowling continued. He brought up his 50 from 47 deliveries and accelerated from there. He was eventually dismissed for 71, finally failing to clear the boundary a third time after hitting Somerville for two consecutive sixes.

Otago’s final first innings total was 483 – far and away their highest score this Plunket Shield season.

The Auckland reply did not start well. Both openers Sean Solia and Graeme Beghin departed for 11, shortly followed by Will O’Donnell, trapped LBW by Duffy.

Robbie O’Donnell joined Glenn Phillips and the pair navigated the next 12 overs, reaching tea at 81/3.

Just three overs into the final session, O’Donnell was back in the sheds having just brought up the 100-run total for Auckland. From there, Phillips had to shoulder most of the burden of scoring runs.

He played assertively, going past his half-century; partnered first by Finn Allen and then by Ben Horne.

With just three overs to go until the end of play disaster struck. Phillips, then on 92, flashed at a ball from Nathan Smith. He got a thick edge caught the edge which carried to second slip.

Auckland finished the day at 177/6. Horne will resume tomorrow on 18, new batsman Somerville on seven.

Full scorecard here.

Image Credit: Photosport.co.nz.