AUCKLAND ACES v CENTRAL STAGS
Eden Park Outer Oval
28-31 October 2020
Toss: Auckland Aces who batted
RESULT: AUCKLAND ACES won by 25 runs
- George Worker's 100th first-class match
- Will O'Donnell's 50th first-class match
- First-class debut: Joey Field
- Worker reached 5000 first-class runs when he passed 15
- Kyle Jamieson hat-trick
- Doug Bracewell and Joey Field, 8th wicket record (102) for Stags v Aces, breaking the mark of 94 set by Stu Duff and David Leonard between the sides in 1991/92
- Doug Bracewell third first-class century (second for Stags)
Auckland's hat-trick men
Ben Lister (left), Kyle Jamieson and Matt McEwan
Having been pushed into the fourth morning by a defiant Doug Bracewell, the Auckland Aces were made to work for their second win on the bounce during a dramatic first session.
In the end a stunning, running catch on the boundary from Mark Chapman clinched a worthy victory by just 25 runs, ending Doug Bracewell's third first-class century on 102.
What a catch to win the match at Eden Park Outer Oval. @aucklandcricket stay unbeaten! Great fight from the Stags and Doug Bracewell 💯who got far closer to chasing it down than anyone would have punted #plunketshield pic.twitter.com/0iNL81xihf— #NZIII (@MargotButcher) October 30, 2020
It was only Bracewell's second Plunket Shield ton for the Central Stags (the other for New Zealand A) and came when his team's backs were against the wall.
After sharing a record eighth-wicket stand between the teams with Joey Field on the previous afternoon, he kept his composure after the early loss of his new partner Seth Rance and then kept his team's chances alive with last man Ray Toole as they put on a further 41 runs.
The visitors had commenced the morning needing 77 to deny the Aces and Bracewell led the way, pummelling his way into the 90s before reaching his century off 131 balls in 178 minutes, including seven boundaries and five sixes.
Sean Solia (4-41) claimed Bracewell's wicket at last to clinch what became a tight 25-run outright and dissipate the tension amongst his teammates who erupted as the sprinting Chapman pouched the decisive catch in such nerveless style.
The two teams will now head to the Stags' home turf of Saxton Oval, Nelson for the fascinating rematch next week. All Plunket Shield matches are free admission.
It was the Auckland Aces' day at Outer Oval - but not without a riveting fightback from a pair of late order Stags.
Central had dismissed their hosts for 269 before lunch, leaving a run chase of 287 in five sessions and a bit.
The stubborness of Auckland's tailenders had made their task more difficult, Will Somerville putting on 27 with Danru Ferns before Ferns added a further 28 with last man Ollie Pringle - whilst overhead the skies darkened along with the visitors' mood. They could yet prove the difference in the match.
Doug Bracewell had struck earlier in the morning but would have to settle for seven for the match on 4-96, not quite able to find his bag. Strong left-armer Ray Toole meanwhile turned in a career-best on his 23rd birthday and chipped out the final wicket for a haul of 4-38.
By tea, the Aces had further dampened their visitors' mood after yet another strong session with the ball from the home side.
The stellar quintet of George Worker, Greg Hay, Will Young, Ross Taylor and Tom Bruce were all back in the pavilion at just 95 for five, Kyle Jamieson and Ollie Pringle with two wickets apiece.
Four through slips. Four over mid-wicket. Four over mid-wicket.— Auckland Cricket (@aucklandcricket) October 30, 2020
Pringle holds his nerve and bags the big wicket of Taylor.
LIVE SCORECARD | ACES 167 and 269 | Stags 150 and 69/5 | https://t.co/3cDMSFWD1v#PlunketShield #FollowSuit ⚪️🔵 pic.twitter.com/xem16bt6CV
Both yet to get off the mark, the last recognised batting pair of Dane Cleaver and Brad Schmulian faced a monumental task to rescue the chase, but after three-quarters of an hour they fell in quick succession as Sean Solia bounced out the former and then Glenn Phillips held onto a sharp edge from Schmulian to provide Will Somerville with a wicket.
Quick strikes post Tea for @aucklandcricket's Aces to have the @CentralStags 7 down. @wersomerville with his first wicket of the season. Live VIDEO scoring | https://t.co/fkuhIVuqJH #PlunketShield pic.twitter.com/oT9eNrMTmR— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) October 30, 2020
Somerville was in for a long afternoon, shouldering much of the workload as an unlikely century stand for the eight wicket then materialised between seasoned campaigner Doug Bracewell and newbie debutant Joey Field.
Field will be best known for his part in the world ninth-wicket record stand that New Zealand set at last summer's ICC Under 19 World Cup, and he showed some more of that bent against the red ball in their determined 102-partnership for the eighth.
Helluva 8th wicket stand here from DOUG BRACEWELL with our debutant JOEY FIELD, who is already a young veteran of defiant late stands... #plunketshield #LOVETHESTAGS #cricketnation #DougBracewellAppreciation pic.twitter.com/K6aDCZDg28— Central Stags 🏏 (@CentralStags) October 30, 2020
Bracewell occasionally swivelled, and reached his half century with a six off Ollie Pringle - one of three in his afternoon's work, but it was the exception to the rule as they generally treated Somerville with respect and fended off Jamieson, Pringle and Solia.
After more than two hours, Field had reached 32 before Solia finally trapped him shortly before stumps. Bracewell will resume on 65* with Seth Rance his new partner and the Stags now needing 77 further runs on the last day if they are to produce a victory against a team that needs just two more wickets to go two from two.
Kyle Jamieson has become just the seventh bowler to take a first-class hat-trick for the Auckland Aces after a sensational start to the second day in Auckland.
Remarkably it was also the third Plunket Shield hat-trick at Eden Park Outer Oval in four seasons, joining teammates Matt McEwan (2017/18 v Northern Districts) and Ben Lister (2018/19 v Otago Volts) in the feat.
HAT-TRICK ball and Kyle Jamieson does this at @edenparknz Outer Oval for @aucklandcricket against the @CentralStags! LIVE video scoring | https://t.co/fkuhIVuqJH #PlunketShield pic.twitter.com/tFCoRJr6Y4— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) October 28, 2020
Bowling a challenging length, Jamieson had just been edged for a six when the fun began, responding to Tom Bruce by having him caught in the slips next delivery. He then yorked Dane Cleaver next ball before producing a pearler worthy of a hat-trick, jagging one back in late to bowl Brad Schmulian, knocking out the off stump as the unfortunate number seven batsman shouldered arms.
Kyle Jamieson took the 47th hat-trick in NZ first-class cricket today. The feat has been performed by 47 different bowlers. No one has performed the feat more than once #plunketshield— Francis Payne (@FPayne100) October 28, 2020
Jamieson (5-41 off 17, including seven maidens) wasn't done for the session. After Doug Bracewell had fought for 48 minutes to reestablish the Stags first innings with opener George Worker, he got one through him as well to collect his five-wicket bag.
Including the BLACKCAPS' February Test match against India, Jamieson had another feat: three five-wicket bags in three consecutive matches; as Stags debutant Joey Field made his way to the middle for his maiden innings with the side needing a further 43 to overhaul the Aces' first innings dig.
In all, seven wickets would fall in the session with George Worker reaching his fighting half century shortly before lunch, only to become the final to fall at 150 all out when the Stags were just 17 runs shy of the overhaul.
The only hiccup for the hosts was keeper-batsman Ben Horne splitting the skin on his finger, leading to Phillips taking his maiden first-class dismissal behind the sticks as he filled in, against Worker.
By tea, the Aces had made a good start to gaining the advantage. At 117/2, both opening batsman Graeme Beghin and first drop Glenn Phillips had reached half centuries, their 112-run stand for the second wicket tempered by the loss of Beghin shortly before the break.
Earlier, Stags swing bowler Seth Rance had struck early with the wicket of Sean Solia, but now the Aces' lead had travelled to 134, still with eight in hand and with conditions becoming more placid.
A handful of late wickets lifted the spirits of the Auckland Aces after a tough day at the office in Sandringham.
The Plunket Shield's early leaders began the day with captain Robbie O'Donnell electing to bat in his 50th first-class match - all of them for the Aces. But a generally tight performance with the ball and a drop-in deck that wasn't as easy to bat on as O'Donnell may have hoped soon had the hosts on the back foot.
The Stags introduced former NZ Under 19 allrounder Joey Field (above) into their playing XI for the first time while for opening batsman George Worker it was first-class match number 100 and also the day he would clock his 5000th first-class run.
By stumps, Worker remained unbeaten on 26* at 81/3 while Field had earlier claimed 2-18 in his first day's work as the Aces were rolled for 167 in 67.5 overs.
Field nipped through Ben Horne's defences for his maiden wicket before adding BLACKCAP Kyle Jamieson a couple of overs later, but earlier had come close to upending Martin Guptill with two big shouts in his first over.
Stags seniors Doug Bracewell and Seth Rance had already made strong inroads with Bracewell at his consistent best and Rance looking for the inswing on an overcast Auckland day.
Together they had the Aces 100/6 by the 40th over, before the youngsters Field and Ray Toole mopped up to collect the maximum four bowling bonus point: not a bad result from having been asked to field.
For the Aces, trouble began early with the opening stand broken in the second over of the morning and, despite a fair amount of doggedness from the rest of the order, only Mark Chapman managed to get going with a knock of 54.
Bustling Bracewell deceived and trapped him en route to impressive figures of 16-6-18-3 while Rance ended with 3-54 when the Stags wrapped up the Aces' innings shortly after tea.
The late afternoon proved a tricky period to navigate for the Stags, however.
Captain Greg Hay's record-equalling run of half centuries was stopped by Danru Ferns at 8/1 while Sean Solia did Will Young with a peach soon after.
Underway immediately, a positive Ross Taylor looked to have settled things down with Worker before tucking into Will Somerville for some boundaries and sixes as the afternoon sun streaked the ground.
The BLACKCAPS maestro was stopped on a run-a-ball 27 however with Kyle Jamieson delighting in the prized wicket.
It brought the close of the day with the Stags needing a further 86 tomorrow to knock off Auckland's lead.