Boundary blitz, Smith five-fa power Volts17 Dec 2019
An impressive display of hitting power and a five-wicket bag to Nathan Smith earned the Otago Volts a 43-run win over the Knights at Seddon Park.
Having won the toss, the Knights opted to bowl first under grey skies in Hamilton.
They began well with Anton Devcich dismissing the dangerous Hamish Rutherford in the first over after two quick boundaries.
A couple of sedate overs were followed by two monster ones as Neil Broom took full flight. The fourth and fifth overs both went for 19 and the Volts were flying along at 60-1.
Anurag Verma was introduced into the attack and got the huge wicket of Broom, caught in the covers for an entertaining 32 off 15 balls.
The momentum was continued by Nick Kelly and Dean Foxcroft who both started briskly and found the boundary with ease. When Kelly was caught behind for 37 the score was at 93 and the run-rate hovering around ten.
Josh Finnie strode out and hit eight of his first 15 balls for boundaries including four sixes. The Volts were soon dominant with their run-rate nearing 12 an over.
Foxcroft was caught in the deep for 44 off 25 attempting to sweep another ball over the fence, ending a destructive partnership of 77 off just 31 deliveries.
Shortly afterwards, Finnie was caught behind for a brilliant 47 off 18. Later in the same over, Verma had his third wicket and the Knights had a chance to restrict the damage in the final four overs.
The Knights pounced on the opportunity with a cheap over from Devcich followed by the dismissal of Anaru Kitchen, caught off a Daryl Mitchell full-toss. The Volts were suddenly 182-7 with a 200-plus score no longer a formality.
Daryl Mitchell completed the Knights fightback with the ball, taking a stunning catch off his own bowling but injuring a finger in the process. Having looked like posting a mammoth score at one stage, the Volts still had a highly competitive 198-9 to defend.
In response, Tim Seifert wasted no time getting the Knights moving as he took 13 off the first over.
Momentum was short-lived and Devcich was caught in the deep first ball. Dean Brownlie also went cheaply.
When Seifert miscued the bustling Nathan Smith to mid-on the Knights were in big trouble at 41-3 nearing the end of the batting power play.
Some tight overs pushed the Knights back further and they needed 150 off just 12 overs.
The home crowd had their hopes raised when 17 runs came from the 9th over to give the Knights innings some momentum with power hitters still to come.
Joe Carter started to heat up, hitting three big sixes in quick time against the Volts spinners. With another six over square leg, Carter raised his bat for his half-century off just 28 balls.
In amongst the big overs were a number of tight ones though and the required run-rate ballooned past 14 an over. Carter departed soon after trying to find the fence once more.
Struggling for fluency, Brett Hampton was joined in the middle by Scott Kuggeleijn with the Knights needing a miracle.
It wasn’t to be and the Volts ran through the middle and lower order with Nathan Smith finishing his spell with the stellar figures of 5-14.
The Knights ended well in arrears at 155-9 and will be needing a bounce-back performance next time out. The Otago Volts on the other hand’ have come out of the gates strongly with two wins from two and sit atop the standings ahead of their rematch with the Auckland ACES on Thursday.