NORTHERN DISTRICTS v AUCKLAND ACES
18 November 2018
Result: Auckland Aces won by 58 runs (DLS)
Returning BLACKCAP Colin Munro put on the famous Munro show as he blasted a merciless 143 off 93 balls in a successful DLS chase for the Auckland Aces.
The win was an critical victory over ND as the two sides battle it out for the sole remaining Ford Trophy qualifying berth.
Lincoln No.3 was no match for Munro as he pummelled the short square boundaries, his fifth List A century for the Aces and sixth overall having arrived off 65 balls and six sixes alongside his name by the time he reached three figures.
He would add one more bomb before finally departing caught off Joe Walker, a masterclass in taking control of a DLS situation.
The Aces reaching 45 for one and already ahead of the DLS before the first rain interruption in the eighth over, thanks to their master blaster's aggressive start, Munro had ruined almost all the ND attack’s figures by the time he was done, with only quick Scott Kuggeleijn engaging him in more than a one-sided contest.
He had already reached his first 50 when he lost Craig Cachopa (22*) at the other end, but Graeme Beghin stuck around to get another partnership started.
Earlier, a returning Lockie Ferguson and Munro both went without reward with the ball as the Aces bowled first, but evergreen spinner Ronnie Hira snared 3-62 as the Aces held ND to 275.
The total represented a strong recovery by ND’s late order, after having been in trouble at 91 for five after Matt McEwan made quick early breakthroughs.
With a score of 141 for five at the 30-over mark, Joe Carter and Peter Bocock had managed to lift the scoring to run-a-ball.
It was Kuggeleijn who came to the rescue, however, repeatedly teeing off for an unbeaten 75 off just 57 balls (including two boundaries and six sixes hammered at the death) as he put together a 57-run stand for the seventh wicket with Bocock, who reached a half ton off 59 balls.
That was followed by a further 37-stand with Walker for the eighth and unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 40* with Zak Gibson (8*).
As in the adjacent Stags-Firebirds match, a sharp southerly change during the lunch interval then changed the complexion of the chase as the morning’s sunshine disappeared behind a thick bank of thunderclouds.
The thunderstorm first halted play simultaneously on both grounds at Lincoln with the Aces 45/1 (Munro 21*, Solia 12*) after eight overs, Kuggeleijn having made the early breakthrough with 1-24.
Munro’s fireworks meant the Aces had roared ahead of the DLS par score by the time wet weather returned in the late afternoon, when they were 246 for five after 36.1 overs. The Aces ultimately won by 58 runs (DLS).