PHOTOSPORT

Twists and Turns in Queenstown!

The Otago Volts will be further ruing the transfer of Nathan Smith to the Wellington Firebirds today as the gutsy allrounder produced a brutal finish to a see-saw of a match in Central Otago.

Queenstown turned it on for its first Dream11 Super Smash doubleheader but it was the visitors with the chocolates after Smith nervelessly clinched a tight chase with two sixes off the first two balls of Jacob Duffy's final over.

And, you just have to see the ramp.

Heading in with just one win from five rounds, against the other celllar dweller on the men's table with the defending champs in a similar state of affairs, so much had gone right for the Volts in the game.

They won the toss. They got a fast start from Josh Tasman-Jones (35 off just 26, with three sweet sixes).

They lost four big wickets but recovered thanks to their calm veteran Anaru Kitchen who whacked his half century off just 32 balls and shared a 75-run stand with Michael Rippon that was a record for the sixth wicket for the Volts against the capital raiders.

And later on, golden arm Hamish Rutherford continued his late-blooming spin bowling career (taking a leaf out of adversary Michael Bracewell's book) and pitching in with the wicket of form batsman Troy Johnson.

But defending 166/7 against the Firebirds was always up in the air after big-hitting young dangerman Tim Robinson stood up with his maiden T20 half century in his first summer for the team.

In a landmark innings, opening bat Robinson smashed 65 off just 49 balls, including eight boundaries and a six.

He tonned up off just 37 of those deliveries as he batted deep into the 18th over, giving the Firebirds a solid backbone to their chase.

His opening stand with Finn Allen reached 40 in the space of just 2.4 overs as the Firebirds new generation went out hard and early, three sixes from those first three overs before Allen was caught for a 13-ball 32.

The Volts' attack were having a hard time of containment until captain Rutherford bowled himself in the 10th over, no doubt encouraged by his maiden T20 wicket up in Napier before Christmas. He had his second career wicket second ball, Johnson offering the catch to Nick Kelly.

Then Rippon bowled a wicket maiden with Bracewell departing quickly, and the Volts were back in it.

Yet another ex-Volt, Jimmy Neesham's stay was short, too, giving the home crowd some further hope.

But from there Robinson and Smith took charge with a 45-run stand, before Smith served up the sixes for dessert.

The five-wicket win lifted the Firebirds to fourth on the table while the Volts will get another crack at the same venue tomorrow, against the Auckland Aces.

SCORES