Auckland Aces begin Plunket Shield campaign with win

Video Highlights



Kennards Hire Community Oval, Auckland - closed gates

4-7 February, 2022


Toss: Aces who bowled

First innings points

Auckland Aces 5

Northern Districts 5

Total points this round: Auckland Aces 17, ND 5

Selected Milestones

George Worker: First-class debut for Auckland Aces (previously Central Stags and Canterbury)

Tim Southee - 24th first-class five-wicket bag; 10th for Northern Districts in Plunket Shield

Jeet Raval: 8000 first-class runs


Wet weather threw a curve ball into the mix again as the teams turned up on the final day and sat around all morning waiting for the drizzle to push off.

Murphy's Law: Auckland had been starved of rain for weeks, if not months, and now that first-class cricket was here, the clouds gathered above.

Finally ND got the chance to resume after lunch, with BLACKCAPS Mitch Santner (13) and Tim Southee (4) at the crease needing to enhance ND's lead of 177.

But from a starting position of 155/7, the innings was all over in a hurry as a Ben Lister outswinger broke the stand and then Brett Randell was run out in a calling muddle.

Santner was the last to depart after having been outfoxed by Somerville (3-41) and the ND account was closed at 173 all out in 64.4 overs, an overall lead of 195.

Martin Guptill and George Worker made a good start with 59 of those, before Worker was trapped by Randell on 29. Southee then had Guptill ruing shouldering arms on 31 as his fellow BLACKCAP skimmed one back into his bails.

Glenn Phillips (41) and Mark Chapman put together a 33-run partnership for the third before Phillips' sense of adventure against Wagner got the better of him at 116/3.

But by now, ND needed to find some magic or some more rainclouds on the horizon if they were to stop the Aces coasting home for an opening round win. The latter appeared with a minimum 20 overs still left in the day as the players left the field for bad light, with the Aces 164/5, but it proved a brief anxiety-inducing hold-up.

Wagner took a consolation wicket with the scores level, Sean Solia yorked on 26. Chapman had eased to an unbeaten 53 in the interim, but just as Kyle Jamieson arrived in the middle, the players - ND, at least - went off for bad light again!

Just as the Central Stags had done (as the fielding side) in the first match of the season at Hagley, the Aces were in for a sit-down in the middle under uncertain skies, in the last session of the game, desperate to bag the points.

The 10 or so minutes felt like an hour, but finally the light meter obliged for long enough for Jamieson to nudge Wagner for the winning single.

The Aces had got their belated first-class summer off to a tense but ideal start with a four wicket victory and 17 points in the kitty.


The first decent sprinkle of rain in Auckland for weeks delayed the start of Day Three until the afternoon, but when the action started after lunch, nightwatchman Neil Wagner just picked up where he left off.

The tremendous competitor hung about for 74 minutes for ND's top score of 36, including five boundaries and a six.

Wagner was finally stumped off Will Somerville in the 45th over after a 43-run partnership with Tim Seifert, after which the Aces fought back with a couple of big cheap wickets in Seifert himself and Colin de Grandhomme.

ND skipper Joe Carter had already departed scoreless to the delivery of the day - a peach from Kyle Jamieson - and, when bad light ended play, the visitors were 155/7, leading overall by 177 but with work still to do.


A brutal first session pushed the Aces back onto the back foot, quickly crumbling from their overnight start of 32/0 to 55/5 after BLACKCAPS Tim Southee and Neil Wagner combined to rip out four wickets between them.

Southee started by flummoxing George Worker at 38/1, then trapped both Glenn Phillips and Robbie O'Donnell for no score.

Opening batsman Martin Guptill survived the carnage, and was a picture of patience as he was left trying to hold up the innings with left-hander Sean Solia before lunch - still more than 150 runs in arrears as the wind whipped around them.

Guptill reached his half century in the 39th over, but after 141 balls, Guptill's vigil was over when he became Southee's fourth victim just four overs before lunch, the teams heading off with the Aces 110/6.

The Aces had pressed on to 133/6 in the middle session before a brief interruption for a spot of rain.

By tea, the hosts had drawn to within one run of a first batting bonus, but were now eight down with Somerville falling to a lovely piece of flight and turn from Joe Walker just before the break.

Wagner had removed Kyle Jamieson but Solia had battled away to lead the late recovery, unbeaten on 63* after more than two and a half hours in the middle.

Solia clipped a single off Walker to grab a solitary batting bonus for Auckland's coffers shortly before Southee returned to trap another batsman and pick up his 24th first-class bag, finishing with 5-35.

Down to his last partner, Solia lashed at Randell in the next over only to be caught after his fighting 72, the Aces dismissed just 22 runs behind on the first innings thanks largely to his and Guptill's resilience.

Solia also had a say with the ball, grabbing a couple of quick wickets as ND's second innings hit a rough patch.

ND had made a good start, opening pair Jeet Raval (32) and Henry Cooper (24) putting on a 50-stand, but Raval was caught on the boundary off ter Braak before Solia quickly picked up both Katene Clarke and Cooper to see ND go from 54/0 to 68/3 in the space of seven overs.

ND will resume on Day Three with a 90-run overall lead.


After a break of two months, the Plunket Shield was back with a bang as BLACKCAPS poured in for the first first-class match of the NZC 2022 calendar year.

In a match rescheduled from earlier in the season when Auckland was still in lockdown, the Aces were embarking on a busy two months of catch-up cricket - eager to get their Shield campaign off to a good start.

Captain Robbie O'Donnell did just that by winning the toss and sending in neighbours ND who soon found themselves on the back foot in the red-ball format at 92/5.

Playing his first Domestic match of the whole season, Kyle Jamieson had made the first breakthrough as Jeet Raval lost his off-stump, but it was nippy fourth change Ross ter Braak (3-59) who had a field day in the morning session with the wickets of Henry Cooper and Katene Clarke to hold ND to 77/3 at lunch.

He struck again after the break with Joe Carter jamming down on a widish yorker, only to play on: 90/4.

After the relentless seam of the morning session, spinner Will Somerville (3-68) came on straight after lunch and got stuck in all over again.

Shortly after ter Braak had removed Carter, Somerville bowled Tim Seifert with a beauty, then added Colin de Grandhomme, well caught at slip, a couple of overs later: both gone for just starts and ND now in real trouble at 115/6.

By tea the visitors had made it to 176/7 after some solid work by Mitch Santner (59) and Brett Randall (51) in a 94-run stand.

Number nine Randell continued to show his all-round value this season with both men finding the boundary in a late recovery.

But when Santner went to slash Somerville away to the short boundary in the 74th over, he succeeded only in feathering an edge and the spell was broken at 221/8.

Randall scrambled on to his half century, but was the last man out after golden arm Glenn Phillips (2-4) had quickly picked up Neil Wagner.

With 15 overs left in the day, by stumps the Aces were 32 without loss in reply to ND's 230.






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