- Publish Date
- Monday, 9 November 2020, 8:18AM
Tom Blundell has gone down in the record books for becoming just the second batsman in New Zealand first-class history to be given out for obstructing the field.
The dismissal, for 101, came after a long wait for both teams to get on the park on the final day of the Wellington Firebirds-Otago Volts Plunket Shield match at the Basin Reserve, after stormy weather stalled play until almost 5pm.
The Volts had been kept waiting for the chance to take the final three wickets to win their first Plunket Shield match at the Basin Reserve since 2003, while the Firebirds still had two top order batsmen in Black Cap Blundell and concussion substitute Andrew Fletcher to attempt to chase down a further 94 needed for a home victory.
But just seven balls into the resumption, Blundell's rare dismissal triggered a quick demise for the hosts as Jacob Duffy snatched eight wickets for the match in a special 84-run victory for the side.
The denouement was also remarkable for the sights in the middle, the Volts wearing blue and gold beanies in the frigid conditions, following horizontal rain earlier in the day.
The sole previous instance of an obstructing the field dismissal in the scorecard of a New Zealand or Plunket Shield first-class match was in December 1953 when Canterbury tailender Johnny Hayes was dismissed at Christchurch's now demolished Lancaster Park against Central Districts; and yesterday's instance was the first since the handled ball rules were tweaked in 2017.
For the Volts, it was a well executed victory that catapulted the southerners from fifth to third equal on the points table. It was also their second Plunket Shield victory in four matches, after having beaten the Stags in Dunedin at the tail of last summer.
It left the Firebirds as the only side yet to pocket a win heading into next week's fourth round, an egg the defending champions will be hoping to break against the undefeated Auckland Aces who will be next up at the Basin Reserve.
The Volts now head south for their first home match, at Alexandra's Molyneux Park, against unbeaten competition frontrunners Canterbury.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission