Auckland Aces beat Central Stags by three wickets
Kennards Hire Community Oval
24 February 2022
George Worker has become the first man from any team to score four Ford Trophy centuries in a single summer, after his second big hundred in the space of three days.
The left-hand erstwhile BLACKCAPS opener carried his bat for an unbeaten 139* off 144 balls (11 boundaries, three sixes) to guide his side home by three wickets this evening, in a last-over victory against the Central Stags.
It was top qualifier the Stags’ first loss of the campaign as the Aces continued their barnstorming run though the back end of the campaign, and the two teams now fly to Queenstown for a big rematch in Saturday’s Grand Final with the ledger standing at one-all this season, after the Aces' first-round loss in Palmerston North.
The Stags had won the toss and batted at Auckland’s Kennards Hire Community Oval, Brad Schmulian top-scoring with 75 and Ross Taylor backing up his century and half century in New Plymouth with another half century today: 59 off 54 balls, including one boundary and four sixes.
But the Stags were bowled out for 301, with four balls usused in their innings, in what proved to be a close contest.
Back from injury, Auckland seamer Ollie Pringle grabbed three wickets in the space of four balls in the 45th over, with an LBW shout against Adam Milne - striking him on the foot on his hat-trick delivery, turned down by umpire Bowden.
Worker had gone past 6000 List A career runs and set an Aces all-wickets partnership record with Martin Guptill at the same ground two days earlier when the pair both scored hundreds, but today he lost his opening partner to Milne for no score.
Fellow left-hander Mark Chapman instead provided the core support with a knock of 88 in their 182-run partnership for the third wicket.
Worker’s century was the 18th in his overall List A one-day career (comprising four for the Aces, 10 for the Central Stags, two for Canterbury, and two for New Zealand A).
Central Stags allrounder Doug Bracewell meanwhile picked up his 100th List A wicket when he bowled Glenn Phillips for five.
The Ford Trophy Final is set for 11am this Saturday at John Davies Oval, Queenstown (behind closed gates), live and on demand at Spark Sport.
Worker will require a further 36 runs in the Final to break Lou Vincent’s Auckland record for most one-day runs in a season (642). It is Worker’s first season for the Auckland Aces, having transferred from the Stags last winter.
The Aces have now completed the regular season with six wins and three losses from their nine rounds, while the Stags have taken five wins, four washouts and one loss from their 10 rounds.