A new Auckland record for Danru Ferns and Ben Horne | PHOTOSPORT

Aces vault to top of the table

Video Highlights



Eden Park Outer Oval

20-23 October 2020


Toss: Auckland Aces


Points: Auckland Aces 18, Otago Volts 3

Selected milestones

• First instance of a COVID-19 Substitute player with Ben Lister called into the Aces team while Mark Chapman awaits the result of a COVID-19 test

• Ollie Pringle Auckland Aces and first-class debut

• Michael Rippon maiden first-class century

• Ben Horne and Danru Ferns, highest ninth wicket partnership for Auckland Aces

• Sean Solia 5-8 most economical five-wicket bag for Auckland Aces

Debutant Ollie Pringle with his family, including father and former Auckland & NZ Emerging Players representative Martin Pringle | PHOTOSPORT


The Auckland Aces bolted to the top of the table with an innings victory inside three days in the opening round of the Plunket Shield championship, after rolling the Otago Volts for just 54.

It was the Volts' lowest tally since 1988/89.

Kyle Jamieson (8-45 for the match) was again making life difficult for opposing batsmen but it was a stunning Sean Solia spell and maiden five-wicket bag that sealed victory so unexpectedly early on the third day.

The Volts had resumed their second innings at 13/1 with intentions of a vastly improved performance from the top and middle order, but they were gone by lunchtime with only Anaru Kitchen reaching double digits.

Nightwatchman Michael Rae was Jamieson’s first wicket of the day, comfortably caught by Martin Guptill at second slip. But when Mitch Renwick followed in similar style, caught by Glenn Phillips at first slip, there was a frisson of déja vu.

Jamieson (3-6) made it eight wickets for the match just two overs later, scooping a low return chance to nab Volts skipper Hamish Rutherford.

Though Solia claimed the wicket of Nick Kelly with his very first delivery of the day, few would have expected the allrounder to carry on to produce such an extraordinary spell.

Debutant Ollie Pringle chimed in with a tidy five-over spell, claiming the wicket of Nathan Smith, whose fine edge was snaffled by keeper Ben Horne. And the rest of the work was done by Solia who claimed career-best figures of 5-8 from his unchanged 5.4 overs.

Guptill clung on to a rising catch at second slip before Volts opener Anaru Kitchen, who had seen seven of his partners come and go, was trapped in front of off-stump.

The final two wickets, Jacob Duffy and Travis Muller, came in quick succession with Guptill taking his third catch of the session before a final leg-before decision sealed a remarkable innings victory for the hosts.


Shaping up as the match of the round, the Auckland Aces struck back big time on day two of their opening match at Eden Park Outer Oval.

Ben Horne's second first-class ton arrived in a record stand | PHOTOSPORT

The highlight was a record ninth-wicket stand between keeper-batsman and newly appointed vice-captain Ben Horne and a determined Danru Ferns, a partnership that ensured the Aces wrested any hint of an advantage from the Volts.

The Volts' attack had been up for the fight in the opening session, claiming the wickets of newfangled opener Sean Solia, a refreshed Mark Chapman, class act Martin Guptill and Kyle Jamieson before lunch.

Guptill showed his experience as he patiently made his way to 65 from 146 balls, but the Aces ran into serious wickets trouble before Ferns joined Horne at 164 for eight.

At that point, the Aces still trailed by 22 runs with thoughts of a lead still infused with uncertainty.

Over the next three and a half hours, however, the pair produced something special, soaking up the pressure and standing up to a particularly fiery spell of short-pitched bowling after lunch.

Horne, who already had one first-class hundred (his maiden last summer), did the bulk of the scoring, hitting 18 fours and three sixes en route to his to wild new career best of 162 off 236 balls.

He showed grit and perseverance, playing shots all around the wicket while number 10 Ferns also played the knock of his career.

Ferns (63*) was equally as determined in defence. Flourishing drives and punishing pulls pushed him past 50 for the first time as he helped Horne build a commanding and unlikely lead.

Having earned the right to put their foot down, Horne and Ferns made the most of some tiring Volts bowlers.

The partnership went past Auckland’s previous ninth-wicket record (151) that had been set by Reece Young and Greg Morgan in 2007/08, and set the new mark at 204 – the fourth all-time best in the long history of the Plunket Shield. 

Horne breezed past his 150, and it would be a total of 314 minutes before his epic came to an end.

With a lead of 183 at 369/9, captain Robbie O’Donnell called in the final pair in late in the day, in search of a quick breakthrough.

Ferns shook off any fatigue to deliver the goods in his very first over with Cam Hawkins deciding not to play a delivery that hit him in front of his off stump.

The Volts will resume their second innings at 13/1 on day three.

Otago Volt Michael Rippon scored the first century of the season | PHOTOSPORT

Drama and intrigue, a cricket first and the first century of the season - it was all happening at Eden Park Outer Oval on the first day of the season for the Otago Volts and Auckland Aces.

New Aces Plunket Shield captain Robbie O'Donnell had the perfect start with the coin and no hesitation in sending the visiting Volts into bat.

With five early wickets falling inside the first 11 overs - and his counterpart Hamish Rutherford attempting to steady the ship in his own first foray as a newly appointed captain, it all looked to be going nicely to plan for O'Donnell.

Ollie Pringle claimed a quality maiden wicket in Hamish Rutherford | PHOTOSPORT

Three of the top five batsmen were back in the hutch for ducks and Rutherford battled almost 40 minutes for just six before becoming Ollie Pringle's maiden wicket.

Paceman and BLACKCAP Kyle Jamieson (above) was outstanding, claiming two wickets in two balls to remove Anaru Kitchen and Nick Kelly with 3-10 off six overs. It would not be the end of his success on the day.

Aces high. Enter Michael Rippon.

Not for the first time in recent seasons, Rippon produced a rearguard speccie that resulted in the 29-year-old's maiden first-class century off 115 balls, in 233 minutes (14 x 4, 2 x 6).

After watching his bittersweet 98 last summer, this time his Volts teammates held their breath as he crept into the 90s, before erupting in celebration from the tent as he raised his bat and looked skyward. He'd just clocked up the triple figures with a six!

On the way to his landmark, Rippon took charge in a 107-run partnership for the seventh with youngster Max Chu.

Hamish Rutherford applauds Michael Rippon | PHOTOSPORT

Twenty-year-old Chu bettered his own previous best of 41 by one run before the most signicant stand of the day was broken, by Danru Ferns.

Jamieson (5-39) returned to mop up, and with it, claimed his first five-wicket bag for the Aces, to go with three bags for Canterbury and one for New Zealand.

That allowed the Auckland batsmen to squeeze in 39 overs before stumps, but at 28/3 after 13.5 overs, the Volts had just carried on having a top afternoon.

Opening the batting, Sean Solia provided an anchor, however, as Martin Guptill calmed things down and took himself to an unbeaten 37* by stumps, at which point his side was 79/3, trailing by just 107.

Earlier, left-arm paceman Ben Lister (Auckland Aces) became cricket's first COVID-19 substitute player, under the new precautionary rules introduced this season, as Mark Chapman awaited test results after having felt ill yesterday.

The match is the third of three first-round matches in the Plunket Shield championship to get underway, after the other four teams opened their account yesterday.

All matches are free admission.



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