A big day for the Aces' campaign | PHOTOSPORT

Aces records fall, pave way into Ford Trophy Final

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Auckland Aces beat Otago Volts by 92 runs - bonus point win

Kennards Hire Community Oval

22 February 2022


The new Ross Dykes Memorial Trophy went to Auckland

The Auckland Aces have secured the last spot in Saturday's 2021/22 Ford Trophy Grand Final, with a round to spare.

A powerful performance against the Otago Volts in Auckland today saw the Aces snuff out the Wellington Firebirds' mathematical hopes of qualifying - and the Aucklanders now get a dress rehearsal against top qualifier the Central Stags in the last regular-season match this Thursday, at home in Auckland, before the teams fly to Queenstown for the trophy match.

After the Aces elected to bat at Kennards Hire Community Oval today, opening batsmen Martin Guptill and George Worker produced a thunderous Auckland all-wickets one-day record partnership of 260.

Both men scored a century, Guptill the first to reach three figures, off 83 balls in 122 minutes (8x4, 4x6) - his ninth Ford Trophy ton for his team and the 28th of his overall List A one-day career.

Belligerent left-hander Worker followed suit soon after off 95 balls, in 133 minutes (12x4, 2x6).

It was Worker's third hundred for the Aces in his debut season in blue - equalling the Auckland record for most Ford Trophy centuries in a summer, shared with Lou Vincent and Colin Munro.

hundred of Worker's Ford Trophy career and 17th List A century overall, while Guptill is now the outright record-holder for most Auckland Aces one-day centuries (nine), having previously shared the record with Munro.

The dynamic duo not only smashed the Aces' List A opening partnership record - which until today stood at 226, set by Sean Solia and Cole Briggs at the same ground last season, but went on to break the all-wickets record for their team which had stood since 2007/08 when Rob Nicol and Richard Jones put on 242 at Eden Park against ND for the third wicket.

Remarkably, in just his first eight appearances for the Auckland Aces in this format, Worker has now contributed to three new record stands for his team, having also broken the second-wicket record with Mark Chapman (237 at the Cello Basin Reserve against the Firebirds on New Year's Day) and the fourth-wicket record with captain Robbie O'Donnell against Northern Districts at Kennards 12 days later - and has scored a century in all three of those matches.

Worker also still holds the Central Stags' second-wicket List A record of 224 with Ben Smith (v Otago Volts in 2019/20). The national Ford Trophy partnership record remains 321 by the Central Stags for the first wicket, set by Jamie How and Jeet Raval at Hamilton, 2012/13.

The Aces pair batted into the 36th over of the match before Guptill was caught off Angus McKenzie (3-66) for 137 off 106 balls. McKenzie then dismissed Worker off his following over on 122 (114 balls).

The Volts picked off four more wickets, but the damage had well and truly been done as the Aces coasted to a huge total of 380/6 - the seventh biggest total in the team's history.

Needing almost eight an over from the outset, the Volts' opening pair put on 71 before Mitch Renwick became the maiden List A wicket for 20-year-old Simon Keene.

Assisted by sharp fielding, Keene quickly found himself with a chance of a five-wicket bag - having already taken a maiden five-for on debut in the Plunket Shield against the same team, last week.

Mark Chapman took a screamer to end Neil Broom's List A career after just six balls in his last innings, the veteran falling to the debutant.

Then Keene dismissed opener Dale Phillips (47) and Michael Rippon (0) in the space of five balls in the 16th over as well, the Volts suddenly 94/4.

With the Ross Dykes Memorial Trophy on the line, Volts veteran Anaru Kitchen - himself a former Ace - led a fightback with an unbeaten century at six, tasked with trying to reel in a required run rate in double figures with just four wickets in hand.

Kitchen reached 106 not out off 95 balls, supported by an unbeaten 54* from Travis Muller - Muller's maiden half century in this format, as the Volts went down fighting in a 96-run loss to end their white-ball season

It was Kitchen's fifth List A century overall, and his second for the Volts - in what would prove to be his final Ford Trophy innings, with Kitchen announcing this season is his last.

Keene finished with figures of 4-47 off his 10 overs on debut.







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