AUCKLAND ACES lost to WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS by four wickets
13 December 2020
Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland
Finn Allen : List A debut for Wellington Firebirds
Fraser Colson : Captaincy debut for Wellington Firebirds
Troy Johnson : maiden half century for Wellington Firebirds
When Martin Guptill was run out for no score in the first over, the Auckland Aces might have guessed Lady Luck was once again not with them ringside at Outer Oval.
The defending Ford Trophy champions have now reached the midway mark of the competition with just one win from five matches, and were it not for a winless run from the Central Stags they would be parked on the bottom rung of the ladder.
It's the place no team wants to be as they hit the midpoint, with a maximum of 25 points left on the table but other teams building a gap equivalent to two or more matches.
It turned out to be a fairly close affair in Auckland, but the Wellington Firebirds kept the championship pressure on with another Sunday fun day win for the capital.
Looking more assured every innnings, Will O'Donnell (62 off 79) continued his streak of half centuries for the Aces with his fourth consecutive half century in the List A one-dayers, but he was the only batsman to pass the 50 milestone in the Aces' total of 255 for nine at Eden Park Outer Oval as subsequent partnerships began to shrink.
The hosts had been sent in, with former Ace Finn Allen making his debut for the Firebirds at Ford Trophy level on familiar turf.<
Defending 255 for nine, there was some early success for Ross ter Braak who struck twice in the first 5.3 overs.
But the Aces would be trumped by Firebird Troy Johnson who reached his maiden List A half century off 64 balls en route to the top score of 80 not out off 89.
The Firebirds kept their composure through the death and Johnson hit the winning boundary with nine balls to spare as they collected their second win on the bounce, after an abandonement in between since last Sunday.
The two sides meet again on Tuesday at the same ground from 11am and the Aces will be hungrier than ever to show what they can do.