Last updated 19:38, January 6 2016
Canterbury remain top of the domestic one-day competition after overcoming a shaky start to topple the winless Otago Volts.
The red-and-blacks made it back-to-back victories over their southern neighbours in a week and continued their unbeaten campaign, winning by 47 runs at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval on Wednesday.
Cole McConchie, in just his ninth List A game, produced his most memorable performance in a Canterbury shirt.
McConchie was pivotal in getting his side up to 257-7, combining for a 73-run seventh wicket partnership with keeper-batsman Cameron Fletcher.
The right-hand batsman delivered a much-needed cameo, hitting 45 from 41 balls, his highest 50-over domestic score.
He then gained an important breakthrough with his offspin, removing Otago captain Hamish Rutherford, who was starting to look menacing, getting through to 49.
Canterbury coach Gary Stead said it was a vital contribution from McConchie and Fletcher, whom he said was continuing to wicketkeep really well.
“[They both had their best games I think. We’re asking guys to come in and stand up.”
Stead praised the fighting qualities of the Canterbury side after it looked like they might battle to get past 200 at one point with the bat.
“I think we showed some good character out there. It’s a wicket, that tends to be a bit of a new ball wicket at times and I just wonder if we were a touch timid out there early on.
“We were talking if we could get 220-230, we’d still be in the game. We rate our bowling attack and it proved [right] again, we bowled the opposition out.”
Canterbury will be strengthened for their next game away to Auckland on Saturday with Black Caps Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham set to rejoin them.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, Canterbury looked to have made the wrong decision.
Spearheaded by Black Caps’ test bowler Neil Wagner, Otago were in control early on.
Opener Leo Carter was caught behind off the second ball of the match and Canterbury had slumped to 8-3 in the seventh over.
Wagner and fellow opening bowler Jacob Duffy were difficult to score from in the opening stages with Canterbury taking until the ninth over to hit their first boundary.
Desperately needing a partnership, experienced campaigners Todd Astle and skipper Andrew Ellis began to steady the ship.
The duo combined for a 84-run fourth wicket stand, which ended when Ellis mistimed his shot, chipping the ball to Sam Wells at mid on, for a hard-fought 47.
Astle anchored the Canterbury innings, bringing up his fifth list A half century, while frustrating the Otago bowlers. He capped off a pleasing day, also taking three wickets with the ball.
Ronnie Hira looked in strong touch, hitting two sixes, but he was then run out for 25 after Otago’s Brad Wilson reacted quickly and Hira couldn’t get back in time.
When Astle was caught off Warren Barnes’ bowling for 59, Otago were on top with Canterbury 153-6 in the 37th over.
McConchie and Fletcher were instrumental in getting Canterbury to a formidable total, hitting their highest List A scores and teaming up for a pivotal 73-run seventh wicket stand.
They were savage on the Otago bowlers in the final 10 overs, with 85 runs being yielded.
Logan van Beek and Fletcher smacked 19 off the 50th over from Wells, who went 0-67 from eight overs.
Fletcher finished unbeaten on 47, striking four boundaries and a six. It was a busy match for Fletcher, who also took three catches and effected a stumping to get rid of Mark Craig.
Left-arm quick Ed Nuttall got Canterbury off to a fine start with the ball, having Michael Bracewell caught behind with the third ball of the innings.
Nuttall then made further inroads into the Otago top order, removing former Canterbury man Neil Broom for 23 to leave Otago 40-3.
Rutherford and Black Cap Jimmy Neesham, who is playing as a batsman only as he recovers from a back injury, consolidated for the Volts.
Just as they seemed to be getting Otago on track, Neesham disappeared, holing out to Peter Fulton at fine leg for 34
When Rutherford was caught off McConchie one shy of his half century, it was always going to be an uphill battle for the visitors.
Canterbury v Otago, Hagley Oval, Chch.
L Carter c de Boorder b Wagner 0
M Davidson b Wagner 2
P Fulton lbw b Duffy 2
A Ellis c Wells b Barnes 47
T Astle c Craig b Barnes 59
R Hira run out 25
C Fletcher not out 47
C McConchie c Neesham b Wagner 45
L van Beek not out 7
Extras: (lb13, w9, nb1) 23
Total (for seven wickets in 50 overs): 257
Fall: 1 (Carter), 5 (Fulton), 8 (Davidson), 92 (Ellis) 127 (Hira), 153 (Astle), 226 (McConchie)
Bowling: N Wagner 10-3-42-3 (2wd), J Duffy 10-0-49-1 (4wd), W Barnes 10-1-30-2 (1wd), S Wells 8-0-67-0 (2wd), M Craig 10-0-40-0, M Bracewell 2-0-16-0 (1nb)
B Wilson c Davidson b Bennett 9
M Bracewell c Fletcher b Nuttall 0
N Broom c Fletcher b Nuttall 23
H Rutherford c Astle b McConchie 49
J Neesham c Fulton b Ellis 34
S Wells c Fletcher b Nuttall 20
D de Boorder c van Beek b Bennett 10
M Craig st Fletcher b Astle 32
N Wagner c Nuttall b Astle 11
J Duffy lbw b Astle 1
W Barnes not out 5
Extras: (lb8, wd8) 16
Total: (in 46.1 overs) 210
Fall: 1 (Bracewell), 10 (Wilson), 40 (Broom) 98 (Neesham), 146 (Rutherford), 150 (Wells), 171 (de Boorder), 197 (Craig), 203 (Duffy), 210 (Wagner)
Bowling: E Nuttall 8-1-43-3 (1wd), H Bennett 8.1-1-30-2 (2wd), L van Beek 6.5-0-36-0 (1wd), T Astle 9.1-0-31-3 (1wd), A Ellis 7-1-29-1 (1wd), R Hira 4-0-17-0 (1wd), C McConchie 3-0-16-1 (1wd)
Result: Canterbury won by 47 runs