Volts surge to first victory
Otago Volts finally picked up their first win of the Super Smash season when they beat Central Stags by three wickets in New Plymouth.
New Zealand international Anaru Kitchen claimed three wickets with his left-arm spin, then contributed with the bat.
Kitchen, fresh from his T20 international debut series against West Indies, took 3-24 before blasting 34 off 22 balls with the bat as the Volts ended their seven-match winless run at Pukekura Park.
They got home with 10 balls to spare when left to chase 148 to win, opener Rob Nicol making 43 from 41 deliveries.
Kitchen's power hitting put them well on the way to victory and there was an important cameo of 20 from 13 balls from Derek de Boorder when the Volts looked to be wobbling slightly.
The Stags saw another returning Black Cap, Seth Rance, impress with bat and ball but it couldn't stop them from suffering a fourth defeat in seven games.
They were beaten finalists last year, but are under pressure to make the play-offs as they are fifth in the six-team competition where only the top-three qualify.
Rance was the Stags' top batsman with 42 off 15 balls then was on a hat-trick in the Volts' chase after removing Neil Broom (22) and Shawn Hicks (0) in successive deliveries, finishing with 3-33.
The Stags lost key men Jesse Ryder, Will Young and Tom Bruce to single-figure scores, slumping to 30-4 in the seventh over.
At 81-7 in the 16th they looked in big trouble before Rance and Ben Wheeler added 52 off 21 balls with Rance launching three sixes as Test frontliner Neil Wagner conceded 44 from his four overs.
Wheeler helped make sure the Stags had something to bowl at as he cleared the rope twice in his unbeaten 32 off 26.
Meanwhile, New Zealand are 10.00 to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
The Black Caps are 7.00 to win the 2020 Twenty20 World Cup.
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