Plunket Shield 2012-13 November 15, 2012

Otago hang on for draw in tight chase

ESPNcricinfo staff

Canterbury 254 (Fulton 102, Stewart 76, Duffy 3-35, Craig 3-28) and 252 for 9 dec (Fulton 108) drew with Otago 272 (Rutherford 46, Johnston 3-88) and 203 for 7 (Redmond 61, McCord 3-35)
Scorecard

Two centuries by Canterbury captain Peter Fulton weren't enough to force a win as Otago hung on for a draw in a tight contest in Dunedin. On the final day interrupted by rain, Otago were in control of their chase of 235, after opener Aaron Redmond and Neil Broom had a 53-run stand to take them to 118 for 2. But wickets starting falling regularly thereafter, a slide triggered by Ben McCord's quick strikes, and they were in trouble at 185 for 7. Lower-order batsmen Darren Broom and Mark Craig played safely through to stumps.

After choosing to bat, opening batsman Fulton controlled Canterbury's first innings, and his second-wicket partnership with Shanan Stewart, who scored 76, helped them reach a position of control at 176 for 1. But Fulton's dismissal led to a slide, with six of the following batsmen scoring in single digits, and nine wickets fell for 78 runs. Otago bowled their opponents out for 254.

Otago's approach in their reply was different, as most of their batsmen made small but crucial contributions, without anyone reaching a half-century. It helped them gain an 18-run lead. Canterbury, led by Fulton's second century, declared on the final day at 252 for 9. The debutant WSA Williams became only the fourth batsman, and the first in 20 years, to be given out handled the ball in New Zealand first-class cricket.

With 15 overs remaining in the day, all four results were possible as Otago needed 91 runs with six wickets in hand. Middle-order batsman Jimmy Neesham batted positively to score 21 off 20 deliveries, but then three wickets fell quickly and the team played for a draw.

Otago gained five points from the game due to the first-innings lead and moved to second in the points table. Canterbury were fifth.

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