Taylor stars in HRV Cup final

The Central Stags won a lopsided HRV Cup final, beating the Auckland Aces by 78 runs in front of a heaving capacity crowd at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth.

The victory was set up by some blistering batting as the home side put on 206 for six after losing the toss and batting first.

New BLACKCAP and Stags opener Peter Ingram got things started with some excellent stroke play, peppering the short square boundaries as he sped to his fourth Twenty20 half century off just 36 balls and, when he was eventually bowled by Ravi Bopara in the 11th over, the score was already on 71.

Bopara went from hero to villain when he leaked 24 runs in his third over as Ross Taylor and Kieran Noema-Barnett climbed into his medium pacers in a over that set up their breath taking 133 run partnership that lasted until the final over.

Hard hitting Taylor was particularly brutal, lashing balls that were too short, too full and everything in between.  He was dealing in sixes with his fourth bringing up his 50 off only 19 balls.

He thumped five fours and eight massive sixes, reaching 80 off 30 balls before being stumped off the final bowl of the innings.

Noema-Barnett was unlucky not to bring up his maiden half-century as he was dismissed for 49 off 28 but played his part hitting four boundaries and four sixes.

All of the Aces bowling attack were savaged with young debutant Jimmy Neesham bullied out off the attack after bowling one over that went for 20 runs and Michael Bates conceding 61 off his four – a record number in New Zealand domestic cricket.

Bates did redeem himself in his final over, sneering three wickets and only going for two runs.

Michael Mason got the Stags defence off to the perfect start, bowling out Lou Vincent off the sixth ball. 

The Aces went on to lose a wicket in each of the first four overs with Martin Guptill and Scott Styris both going for ducks and Bopara for three as Mason and Graham Napier turned the screws on their opponents

Some late hitting from Neesham lifted the total as he hit a valiant 39 off 20 balls but it was too little too late for the visitors.

It was a good all round bowling performance by the Stags attack with Mason, Napier, Jacob Oram, Seth Rance and Noema-Barnett picking up two apiece. 

Mason and Napier were the pick of the bunch, only going for 17 each and ripping the top off the Aces top order.

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