AUCKLAND ACES lost to OTAGO VOLTS by six wickets
8 December 2020
Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland
Ace Will O'Donnell has now produced three consecutive half centuries in his last three one-dayers, each one of them his new Ford Trophy career best.
The 12-match batsman - younger brother of captain Robbie O'Donnell and son of former Aces coach Mark O'Donnell - followed up his maiden 50 against Northern Districts with 61 against the Otago Volts on Sunday, then threatened to crack a maiden ton against them with his 85 off 110 balls today.
While it wasn't to be, his patient innings was key to the Aces posting some sort of defendable total against the Volts, after having been sent in for the Tuesday rematch.
Martin Guptill and Sean Solia had kicked things off with a 47-run stand at the top, but after that the meat of the Aces' batting line-up all struggled to build a partnership as 71/1 became 113/5.
Until, that is, O'Donnell found support from Ross ter Braak (31 off just 24 balls) for the eighth wicket - in a stand that ultimately went one better than Guptill and Solia. The Volts attack was tight and on top, chipping out the home wickets regularly.
An Otago record seven-for two days previously was a hard act to follow, but paceman Michael Rae again led the way in the wickets column with 3-65, while big 22-year-old right-armer Angus McKenzie picked up his first Ford Trophy wickets in Robbie O'Donnell and Ben Horne for an impressive 2-22 off nine.
With spinners Michael Rippon (2-36) and Anaru Kitchen (2-26 off six) also picking up a brace each, the Aces found themselves bowled out for 225 with nine balls left in the allocation.
No doubt fortified by some stiff team talks after throwing away a win with the bat on Sunday, the visitors made a much sterner reply this time.
Captain Kelly and Mitch Renwick put on 97 for the first wicket, racing along until the 19th over when Renwick (40) gave Will Somerville some width only to see his bails fly off.
Kelly was also undone by spin, popping up a simple catch behind him after a losing his balance as he attempted to paddle Louis Delport away down the leg-side.
Neil Broom (an unbeaten 68* off 73) was the key, the veteran with all his experience determined there would be no repeat of Sunday's shock capitulation. He brought up the Volts' 200, along with his half century off 53 balls, and shared a 65-run stand with Anaru Kitchen.
Broom lost Kitchen and Finnie as the Aces desperately tried to induce another breakdown, but Broom was walking it home.
He and Rippon peeled 11 off ter Braak's penultimate over before levelling the score against Lister. Ter Braak then returned for Broom to tap the final boundary to win with almost seven overs still up their sleeve and move up the points table into interim second.
Beaten Grand Finalists for the last two years in a row, the Volts had now gone three from four and had got their revenge at last against defending champs the Aces.