Firebirds inflict shock loss on Aces

The Wellington Firebirds have underscored the adage that absolutely nothing can be taken for granted in the Ford Trophy one-day competition.

They did so by inflicting a shock, heavy defeat on competition leaders Auckland in Auckland.

Joint last heading into the penultimate round, the Firebirds won by a small matter of 102 runs at Colin Maiden Park after dismissing the hosts for 174 in the 38th over.

Aside from 28 from Tim McIntosh and 25 from Colin de Grandhomme, only Jeet Raval shone for the Aces but his 48 came too late and he was the last man out as the Firebirds enjoyed just their second win of the competition.

Seamer Mark Gillespie took three for 35 while offspinner Jeetan Patel commanded respect in claiming two for 31 off his full allocation of 10 overs.

The Firebirds had earlier been well served by Michael Papps and Stephen Murdoch when they made a highly competitive 276 in 49.3 overs.

Opener Papps led the way with a 106-ball 90 while Murdoch shone with 73 off 84 with eight fours and one six as the pair shared a second wicket stand of 144 in close to 25 overs.

James Franklin then chipped in with 39 off 35 and Harry Boam 37 off 30.

Remarkably, in the context of the innings, fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan was again outstanding.

One match after taking a career-best five for 30 against the Northern Knights, McClenaghan went one better in claiming six for 41 off 9.3 overs in just his second outing for the Aces.

With Thanks To

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