Canterbury needed a big win to get their Ford Trophy campaign back on track. They got it in Rangiora against the top of the table Aces.
How it happened
• Aces captain Rob Nicol won the toss and batted. Openers Jeet Raval and Glenn Phillips got decent starts with a 58-run opening stand before they suffered identical fates, both out stumped by new keeper Tom Latham off Tim Johnston in the 30s.
• Spinner Johnston had also accounted for a big wicket in leading Ford Trophy runmaker Sean Solia in between, dismissed cheaply for once, making it 64/2 at drinks. With the potentially punishing Phillips back in the sheds as well, it knocked the Aces back to a slightly less comfortable 71 for three by the end of the 21st over.
• It wasn’t the typical all-guns-blazing start from the Aces, but the energy ball that is Mark Chapman, at four, typically lifted the strike rate. After Phillips’s exit, he quickly lost another partner, however, in Robbie O’Donnell, before himself falling in the 33rd over, bowled by Cole McConchie.
• Captain Rob Nicol (above), on 15*, was joined by Michael Barry with the Aces now in a still troubling position at 115 for five. McConchie, Todd Astle and Logan van Beek were keeping it tight and Barry would succumb, run out a few overs later with the score advanced by just eight runs.
• Nicol turned on his grit and ground out 67 off 90 balls, supported by experienced heads Donovan Grobbelaar and Tarun Nethula.
• Rangiora has proved a happy hunting ground for the hosts this season. Nicol would be caught off the second to last ball of Andy Ellis’s 50th over, but he had got the Aces up to a theoretically defendable 209 for eight.
• The only problem was the chasing side featured some pretty big names in BLACKCAPS Latham and Henry Nicholls, and if the Aces couldn’t get them out early then a required run rate of 4.2 was going to evaporate fast.
• Grobbelaar opened the attack with Chapman before Cody Andrews came into the attack playing just his second Ford Trophy match — and first for the Aces, his debut having been for ND. Latham and Jack Boyle had the luxury of time to play themselves in, but Andrews would strike in the fifth over to claim Boyle as his first wicket for his new team.
• Nicholls joined Latham with Canterbury needing a further 194 runs, then set about building the most substantial partnership of the match. By the time Latham (59 off 66) was dismissed in the 23rd over, the score had zoomed from 16/1 to 121/2.
• Chapman claimed both Latham and Peter Fulton in the space of three balls, but it wasn’t enough to exert pressure on the hosts with Nicholls still at the crease. Nicholls would eventually fall on 76 in the 35th over, but by then Canterbury needed only another 38 runs from 15 overs. Tim Johnston broke out a six first ball to get off the mark alongside a confident Astle, looking not just for a win, now, but a bonus point.
• Belting 38 off just 20 balls, they got their wish as they wrapped up a big five-wicket win with more than 11 overs to spare.
Fourth-placed Canterbury now transfers to Hagley Oval four round six to host new leaders Northern Districts on Wednesday while the Aces head to Invercargill hoping to right their ship against the Volts.