Auckland Aces beat Northern Districts by 82 runs in Whangarei
ND had gone into the first of two Northland home matches having just overtaken the Auckland Aces on the table for second spot, courtesy of an outstanding run chase — while the Aces had dropped to fourth after a bad loss to the Stags. But things were tight on the table and, by the end of the day, the Aces were back in second slot, and ND was jostled back into a close third.
The Aces’ dominant victory started with captain Craig Cachopa getting his wish to bat first on a belter, his top order all getting starts (Jeet Raval unfortunate to be run out on 38) before Mark Chapman cashed in for a pacey 71 off just 63 balls.
Cachopa (46 off 40) got close to a half ton himself as they built a platform, the remaining order launching themselves into the flurry that is the death and getting the side up to 299 for eight on the big, sweltering ground.
Top wicket-taker Brent Arnel picked up 3-47 with the rest of the wickets shared around.
ND got off to a sound start of their own in reply, but — after having been sitting pretty at 64 without loss — the wickets started tumbling, only the competition’s leading run-maker, Daryl Mitchell (above; 50 off 53 taking him to an aggregate of 290 from five rounds) putting up resistance and showing his touches of both class and power.
Experienced leggie Tarun Nethula (below) showed he was bowling as well as ever as he ripped out a career best 5-57, superb through the middle at creating pressure as the pitch started to slow up.
Medium pacer Michael Barry was on song as his accomplice and later returned to finish off the ND innings in his final over with figures of 4-42, also a List A career best that went nicely with his aggressive cameo of 28 off 17 earlier in the day.
ND now sits three from five with three rounds remaining, and will remain at Cobham Oval to host Canterbury this Sunday.
The Auckland Aces meanwhile head to the capital to clash with the Wellington Firebirds at the Basin, the acid on with only three rounds left and only the top four progressing to Finals.