CENTRAL STAGS v AUCKLAND ACES
Bert Sutcliffe Oval
16 November 2018
Result: Auckland Aces won by 4 wickets
On Bert Sutcliffe Oval, the Auckland Aces avenged a record loss against the Central Stags in Auckland with a much needed victory, but it was not without a few nervous moments in a see-sawing match between last year's two one-day Grand Finalists.
Earlier in the day, defending champions the Aces had had Tom Bruce's new-look Stags by the throat at 114 for six, but Nelson 21-year-old Josh Clarkson's second List A century — a career-best 111 off 107, adding to his maiden effort against the same team last season — pushed the Stags' total out to 226.
There was a good start from the Aces' opening pair of Sean Solia and Ben Horne, whose 61 accompanied five catches behind the stumps, just one short of the Aces List A record.
But a middle order collapse found the Aces needing to steady themselves, take a deep breath and rebuild.
An unbeaten maiden half century from number six Graeme Beghin (56* off 53 balls) eventually got his team home with five overs to spare, while the youthful Stags unit again went home empty-handed at Lincoln and languish in fifth place on 11 points, ahead of only Canterbury.
The Aces now sit just two points behind third-placed ND, well within striking distance.