Cricket: Auckland, Otago battle out rare Super Smash tie with last-ball runout

Auckland and Otago have fought out a rare Super Smash T20 tie, with Aces batter Will O'Donnell caught short of his ground attempting the winning run at Eden Park's outer ground.

Needing 18 runs off the final over for victory, the home side seemed to have the game in hand, with O'Donnell and fast bowler Lockie Ferguson plundering 16 - including a six and two fours - off the first five balls, one of them a wide.

A leg bye on the penultimate ball levelled the scores at 174, but O'Donnell could not penetrate the infield with the final delivery and was run out without adding to the score.

Will O'Donnell lofts a six against Otago
Will O'Donnell lofts a six against Otago. Photo credit: Photosport

"A helluva game of cricket, really," reflected Auckland captain Robbie O'Donnell. "We thought it was a par score and unfortunately, we didn't put the key partnerships together.

"We did enough to take it down to the final over and have someone in that could hit the ball like that."

O'Donnell won the toss and sent the Volts into bat, as they struggled to 46/4 in the seventh over, before Dean Foxcroft and Llew Johnson combined for 89 runs to set the foundation of their innings.

Foxcroft was eventually dispatched for 69 runs off 56 balls, including three sixes, while Johnson contributed a rapid 46 off 27 balls, with five sixes.

Otago reached 174/8 off their 20 overs, but Auckland were quickly ahead of the run pace, until they lost their skipper at 97/4 and their momentum stalled. Five batters reached 20, but none could carry on to anchor the innings.

The Aces lost topscorer Sean Solia (39 off 29 balls) and wicketkeeper Ben Horne (23 off 17) off successive balls at 153 to set up the tense finish.

Otago 174/8 (Foxcroft 69, Johnson 46; Solia 2/28) Auckland 174/8 (Solia 39, R O'Donnell 28; Duffy 2/27)

Match tied