Mondiale Auckland Aces 167-4 (Martin Guptill 64, Colin de Grandhomme 42*, Nick Beard 23-2) beat SBS Bank Otago Volts 165-8 (Aaron Redmond 46, Ryan ten Doeschate 34, Mitchell McClenaghan 29-3) by two runs.
Mark O’Donnell, coach of the Mondiale Auckland Aces, and Dmitri Mascarenhas, his counterpart for the SBS Bank Otago Volts, were each getting mentally prepared for their first Georgie Pie Super Smash super over.
It had been a graunchingly tight run chase from the Volts all the way as they kept themselves in the hunt for the 168 that would bring them a win. But the first day of the 2014 Georgie Pie Super Smash season was destined to end with a bang — a Mitchell McClenaghan torpedo that splayed the stumps of Sam Wells to deliver a thrilling, last-ball victory to the much-relieved Aucklanders.
It was a gripping finish to an entertaining day at Seddon Park that had also seen Aces opener Martin Guptill (64 off 54) make the fist half-century of the competition.
After a conservative start against opening bowler Jesse Ryder — who, oddly, was not used again, despite conceding just a solitary run; Guptill and Anaru Kitchen built a classy 68-run foundation, after new Aces skipper Rob Nicol had won the toss.
Then came a show-stopping innings, an unbeaten 42 off just 19 balls from powerhouse hitter Colin de Grandhomme to reach 167-4 and set the Volts their target.
However, when their top scorer in the match, opener Aaron Redmond, was run out on 46, it was an omen of a night on which they would fall just short.
Needing 13 off the final over, they couldn’t shut out a fired-up McClenaghan (3-29), who ran out Nick Beard on the second ball, as well as offering up a six and a wide, before the dramatic dismissal of Wells to squeeze a classic two-run triumph.