Stags advance to final after weather intervenes

The Central Stags have advanced directly to the Ford Trophy one-day final after rain continued to stalk their campaign today.

The top qualifiers were 16 without loss after five overs chasing the Auckland Aces’s 230 at New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park when rain intervened, hung around and eventually forced the major semifinal to be abandoned.

The upshot is that the Stags now prepare for a home final next Sunday while the Aces face the Otago Volts in the preliminary final on Wednesday.

The Aces owed almost everything to Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro for a competitive total despite their innings being terminated in 46.1 overs.

They had threatened to underwhelm when 109 for five in the 31st over before de Grandhomme and Munro enlivened proceedings with a fighting partnership of 92 at a helter skelter 10 and over.

De Grandhomme turned things around as he belted seven sixes and three fours in a 35-ball 66 while Munro was relatively sedate by comparison, making his 64 off 60 balls punctuated by 10 boundaries.

It was precisely what the doctor ordered after ball dominated bat for the first half of the Aces innings, as reflected in the fact opener Brad Cachopa required 100 balls to score 36 following the cheap dismissals of Jeet Raval and Anaru Kitchen.

Left-arm spinner Martin Kain, in only his second one-dayer for the Stags, later benefited from the fine early work of his seamers as he collected the figures of four for 46 off nine overs.

While Adam Milne was collared by de Grandhomme, fellow seamers Michael Mason, Bevan Small and Kieran Noema-Barnett all did their jobs to pick up two wickets apiece for 22, 39 and 36 runs respectively.

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