Otago Volts 157 (Max Chu 45, Josh Finnie 37; Brett Randell 3-33 Blair Tickner 3-49) lost to Central Stags 159-1 (Dane Cleaver 99 not released, Will Young 37 not released) by nine wickets.
danish cleaver was left stuck on the 99 pitch as the Central Stags opened their Ford Trophy campaign with a nine-wicket win, reducing the return of the role of Ross Taylor to that of a specialist defender.
Listed at four, Taylor was padded and ready to go, but an undefeated 122-run partnership between Will Young and Cleaver saw the Stags pass the Otago Volts’ 157 at University Oval in Dunedin on Thursday.
Next his emotional retirement from international cricket last summerTaylor is back for his 20th consecutive season of cricket, proving himself for Stags in the national 50+ format.
But the great of the Black Caps was relegated to the locker room as Cleaver has sent a reminder to national coaches how devastating he can be in the front row of white-ball cricket.
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Cleaver, the Stags keeper, hit the game-winning runs with thick advantage to the third-man boundary to leave it on 99 not just 71 balls in a brutal hit that included 16 fours and three sixes.
The Volts were still going to struggle to defend 157 but a dominant Clever, who was in the Black Caps T20 set up as recently as Julytook the game away at Otago in the first 10 overs, closing the Ford Trophy season opener on the first pitch of the 23rd overs.
Earlier in the day, Young, the captain of the Stags, inserted the Volts and it quickly paid off.
Llew Johnson, Dean Foxcroft and Dale Phillips contributed just six points between them as the home side went down 3-21 in the ninth round.
Promising keeper Max Chu top scored with a run a ball 45 and Josh Finnie’s 37 was more than helpful, but the lower order capitulated much like the top, with the last five wickets falling for just 38 runs.
Fringe Black Cap Blair Tickner and Brett Randell – on his Stags Ford Trophy debut after leaving the Northern Districts – each took three wickets as Ajaz Patel and Seth Rance chimed in with two apiece.
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