Duffy, batsmen take Otago to win
Otago 157 for 7 (Ten Doeschate 61, Neesham 59*) beat Auckland 144 for 9 (Cachopa 43, Duffy 4-21) by 13 runs
Two rapid counterattacking half-centuries by Ryan ten Doeschate and Jimmy Neesham, retrieving a dire situation, and an incisive opening spell from fast bowler Jacob Duffy helped Otago edge out Auckland by 13 runs at the Queenstown Events Centre and maintain their top position in the points table.
Having chosen to bat, Otago were reduced to 53 for 5 in the 12th over but ten Doeschate and Neesham changed the complexion of the contest by adding 103 in 8.2 overs. The two were aggressive from the start, bringing up the 100 for the team within 22 balls of coming together. Ten Doeschate got to his half-century off 32 balls while Neesham completed his off 28. They hit 11 fours and four sixes between them. The stand was broken by Colin de Grandhomme in the final over, when ten Doeschate was dismissed for a 37-ball 61, but by then Otago had reached a competitive total of 156. Neesham was unbeaten on 59 off 31 deliveries.
Auckland, in their reply, lost five wickets quickly, with Duffy claiming three of them in his first two overs. Like Otago, they recovered but only to fall 14 short of their target. Craig Cachopa and de Grandhomme had kept them in the hunt for a win, but neither lasted long enough to see their side through. At 108 for 7, the match was turning in Otago's favour, but lower-order batsmen Andre Adams and Kyle Mills added 31, to give Auckland an outside chance. Their stand was broken in the final over, though, and the 19 needed to win off the final five deliveries was too much for Auckland.
Auckland's third loss this season keeps them in the lower half of the points table.