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Duffy leads Otago to fourth win

Jacob Duffy leaps on his delivery stride Getty Images

Jacob Duffy's career-best match haul of 9 for 123 laid the foundation of Otago's four-wicket win against table-toppers Canterbury in Dunedin. Duffy picked up four wickets in the first innings, but it was his five-for in the second that limited Canterbury's lead to 141. Otago, after a brief stutter, chased down the target in 31.3 overs to register their fourth win.

Defending champions Canterbury could garner only three points from the game, but maintained their position at the top of the table with a 10-point lead over second-placed Auckland. With just one round to go, they remained favourites to win the title.

Opting to bat, they had a poor start as they lost openers Leo Carter and Ronnie Hira by the sixth over. Peter Fulton and Neil Broom led a brief recovery with a 70-run stand for the third wicket, but a couple of strikes by Roald Badenhorst followed by wickets from Duffy and Neil Wagner meant Canterbury were bowled out for 247. Broom was the top-scorer in the innings with 117, his second consecutive century, but did not receive much support, 25 being the next best contribution.

Hamish Rutherford (87) and Derek de Boorder (55) were the major contributors for Otago who declared the innings after taking a three-run lead and Duffy dismissed Hira off the first ball of his spell, with the score still on 0. Canterbury were not given any chance of recovery as the Otago bowers made regular strikes before Duffy cleaned up the tail to dismiss Canterbury for 144.

Otago set off on the chase in brisk fashion, with Rutherford and Aaron Redmond adding 49 for the first wicket in 6.5 overs, setting the tone of the chase. Otago lost three wickets in the middle for 12 runs, but reached the target with four wickets to spare.