Matt Fisher | PHOTOSPORT

Career-best bags for trio of young bowling stars

Video Highlights




Kennards Hire Community Oval

28-31 October, 2023



First innings points:

Northern Districts: 6

Auckland Aces: 4

Total points this round: Northern Districts 18

Auckland Aces 4


Brent (Billy) Bowden: 200th first-class match as umpire

Kristian Clarke: Career-best first-class bowling (6/45)

Adithya Ashok: Career-best first-class bowling (7/103)

Matt Fisher: Career-best first-class bowling (6-45)

All images: PHOTOSPORT

With ex-Tropical Cyclone Lola having been poised to hit Auckland on the third day of the match, the Auckland Aces and Northern Districts were in a race against time to get in their own blows for points in the big city - the Aces hungry for their first win, while Northern was looking to stay top of the early leaderboard.


Jeet Raval's call was on song as he won the toss on the bright and sunny first Auckland morning, full of false promises. Weather was on the radar and he elected to bowl, his team coming off an emphatic performance with both bat and ball in the first round.

Neil Wagner was now missing with an injury, but it hardly hampered the visitors who had the Aces' top three back in the hutch inside the first eight overs.

Veteran George Worker, batting at five, entered the fray needing just a 16 runs to reach 6000 first-class career runs. But he would be forced to wait for that, the next man to go on 13.

Already, Kristian Clarke had three wickets, and the match was only getting started. Auckland captain Robbie O'Donnell meanwhile was tasked with playing a captain's knock just to get his team moving forward.

By lunch, he'd reached his half century off 65 balls, the Auckland hundred on the scoreboard for no further loss.

Another session was all it would take, however, for Northern to finish the job, after Clarke bowled O'Donnell on 61. The young allrounder with a new, aerodynamic haircut went on to his best bag yet, pocketing 6/45 off his 14 overs as the Aces were rolled for 184 in 61 overs.

ND began their reply on the other side of the tea interval, and were in a good position at 110/2 by the end of the day (bad light curtailing the action), despite having lost Henry Cooper and Sandeep Patel.


A stiff wind greeted the players as the ex-tropical cyclone started to encroach. The Aces took four wickets in the morning session, ND 221/6 by lunchtime, holding a lead of 37. Captain Raval, senior pro Joe Carter and Brett Hampton would all post half centuries with Northern reaching 295, dismissed just shy of a third batting bonus point.

It was a healthy lead, but keeping them in check had been young Auckland legspinner Adi Ashok who took a bag of seven in less than ideal conditions. Auckland would start their second dig that afternoon, 111 runs behind.

The hosts ended the day with seven second-innings wickets in hand, still trailing by 30  - and with the darkening skies brewing overhead.

Matt Fisher meanwhile was sitting on fine figures of 6-2-7-3, no doubt hoping to get back on the park as quickly as possible. What would the weather do?


A delayed start to 'moving day' seemed inevitable as flash floods swept parts of Auckland and the Coromandel. An early lunch was taken with play eventually getting underway for the day at 2.15pm, and a minimum of 58 overs left in the day.

Worker got across the line for his 6000th run, but again he was caught behind for a low score, as rain interruptions came and went, and players wrapped the layers around them in the portacoms, watching on.

By tea, the Aces were seven down and firmly on the back foot, again. Northern just had to beat the weather, with no further action possible that afternoon.


A chase of 51 and a brief respite in the weather was all that was required for Northern Districts to nail their second outright of the season, and remain unbeaten at the top of the points table, exactly one quarter of the way through the competition.

The visitors wrapped it up with more than two sessions to spare on a chilly and overcast last day.

Light rain had interrupted proceedings for almost an hour when the Aces were nine down that morning, but clearly they would not be saved from their second consecutive home defeat by the merciless and uncooperative weather.

Quick Matt Fisher became the third young bowler to collect career-best figures in the match, finishing with 6/45 after he removed another of the emerging stars, Adi Ashok.

Northern then belted out the runs to win the match in a hurry, Tim Seifert hitting 24 off just 11 balls before Danru Ferns claimed his consolation wicket.

The Auckland Aces now head to Hagley Oval for round three, while Northern Districts flies to Wellington for a big match at the Cello Basin Reserve, against another team that has gone two from two, both matches starting on Monday, 6 November.






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