Canterbury Kings 122-8 in 20 overs (Cam Fletcher 43, Matt Quinn 4-20) lost to the Auckland Aces (126-1, Glenn Phillips 59, Daniel Bell-Drummond 51*) by nine wickets at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
The Auckland Aces have produced a clinical performance in all aspects of the game to beat Canterbury Kings by nine wickets and move into second-place on the Burger King Super Smash table.
Cole McConchie won the toss for the Cantabs and decided his team would set a total, but regular wickets early in their innings made it difficult for them to build a significant score.
They were already a batsman down after one over, with debutant Tom MacRury caught off the bowling of Matt Quinn. The procession of wickets continued after this early loss, with dismissals in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh over leaving the Kings’ innings on the brink at 35-5, a testament to the efforts of the Aces bowling unit, with four different bowlers already having claimed a scalp by this stage.
Things got worse for the Kings when set batsman Henry Shipley was involved in a mix-up between the wickets and run out for 20, leaving the Kings 61-6.
A rebuilding job was needed if the Kings were to maintain any hope of victory, and when Kyle Jamieson joined Cam Fletcher at the crease, they got the crucial partnership they were desperate for. The pair saw the innings through to the final over before Fletcher was dismissed for a run-a-ball 43, with Jamieson falling two balls later for 24. Their 55-run partnership was the key as the Kings made it to 122-8 off their 20 overs, with Matt Quinn the star man with the ball in-hand, taking 4-20. Not the score the Kings would’ve been after, but something to defend and they would’ve taken, given their struggles early in the innings.
Once Daniel Bell-Drummond and Glenn Phillips walked to the middle for the Aces however, any hopes the Kings had of salvaging something from the match were extinguished. The pair were watchful in the early overs, getting a feel for the pitch and the conditions, before they began to up the ante and play their shots.
Their partnership moved past 50 without much note before they continued to move through the gears and pushed their partnership on to 100, scoring at a decent pace but without taking too many risks. The score was 113 before the first and only wicket fell with the first ball of the 16th over, Glenn Phillips gone for 59 off the bowling of Kyle Jamieson, further extending Jamieson’s lead at the top of the Super Smash wickets chart.
Two more overs passed and it was all over before it had really begun, Bell-Drummond had made it through to 51* and had Mark Chapman for company in the middle, who finished 10*.
A thoroughly professional performance from the Aucklanders had not only seen them escape with the points, but allowed them to leapfrog the Central Stags into second-place in the table with just two rounds to go.