A big day of batting looms for the Wellington Firebirds on the third day of their last round Plunket Shield match against the Otago Volts at the Hawkins Basin Reserve after Otago batted for much of day two and established a 123-run first innings lead.
Visiting batsman Aaron Redmond scored his highest first-class score and Firebirds off-spinner Jeetan Patel claimed his 13th 5-wicket bag as Otago reached 378 in reply to Wellington’s first innings score of 255.
The Firebirds resume at 10.30 am on day three on 33 for 1, with opener Josh Brodie (6) and first drop and skipper Stephen Murdoch (8) at the crease. In 23 overs of batting late in the day, they lost Michael Papps who miscued a pull shot off Neil Wagner and was bowled for 19.
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Redmond made 152 before driving a delivery from Malaesaili Tugaga straight to cover, while Sam Wells batted on to score 81 before becoming Patel’s last victim to give him outstanding figures of 5 for 80 off 40.1 overs.
Bowling into the light breeze from the scoreboard end, Patel bowled with patience and control throughout in a long spell that yielded 15 maidens. Tugaga and Scott Kuggeleijn picked up two wickets each.
After Wells and Jimmy Neesham (48) had added 86 for the seventh wicket, the last three wickets fell cheaply. Neesham was out with the score on 350 and the last three wickets fell for 28 runs, denying the title contenders the Volts 400 and batting bonus points.
Below: Stephen Murdoch (top) and Josh Brodie (below) will resume at the crease on day three.