The Auckland Aces have finally made a play in the Plunket Shield after brushing aside the Wellington Firebirds by 10 wickets to record their first points after six rounds at Colin Maiden Park in Auckland.
Spinner Tarun Nethula took four wickets with Gareth Shaw snaring two as the Firebird’s second innings folded for 122 late yesterday.
The Aces needed 120 runs off a full day but only needed 21.5 overs and didn’t lose a wicket.
Auckland openers Tim McIntosh and Jeet Raval completed a fantastic match, knocking off the runs with 51* and 61* respectively.
Raval made 96 in the first innings to finish with a match aggregate of 157 with McIntosh’s half century backing up his 171.
The Wellington Firebirds had some stand out individuals like Luke Woodcock who scored 127 runs and Stewart Rhodes who racked up 143 but they needed more from the rest of team.
The result doesn’t have much of an impact on the standings with Auckland still propping up the table in sixth spot with Wellington one better in fifth.
* Image of Auckland Aces batsman Tim McIntosh
Day 3: Auckland Aces require 120 runs to beat the Wellington Firebirds with 10 wickets in hand
The Auckland Aces are in complete control against the Wellington Firebirds after they secured first innings points and then rolling the visitors for 122.
All of the Aces top order got runs with Tim McIntosh the best of the line up. The tall left hander hit his 15th First Class ton before falling for 171.
He shared a massive opening stand of 96 with Jeet Raval yesterday and then combined with Richard Jones to put on 212 for the second wicket today.
Jones also brought up triple figures before departing on 107 with the score on 409.
Reece Young and Aranu Kitchen comfortably knocked off the runs required pass Wellington’s first innings total with the declaration coming immediately after they had.
Robbie Schaw picked up two for 96 with fellow spinner Luke Woodcock taking the one other wicket.
The Aces bowing attack then ripped through the Firebirds batting line up, taking ten wickets for 122 in 48.3 overs.
Spinner Tarun Nethula did most of the damage, taking four for 17 with Gareth Shaw chiming in with two for 27.
The defending champions have a full day to knock off the runs and get points on the board in the Plunket Shield.
Day 2: Auckland Aces trail the Wellington Firebirds by 267 runs with 9 wickets in hand
The Wellington Firebirds took their overnight score of 278 for four through to 477 thank to a fine 124 from Stewart Rhodes.
Rhode's four and a half hour innings consisted of 13 boundaries and six. Jeetan Patel was also in good touch striking a lively 71 of 78.
Gareth Shaw bagged five for 101 for the Aces with opening bowler Michael Bates taking three for 74.
Auckland have made a great start to their reply with opener Jeet Ravel falling just short of a century on 96 and Tim McIntosh is still and the crease on 85.
The Aces finished the day on 210 for one. McIntosh will resume tomorrow with Richard Jones who is 15 not out as the Aces look to eat away a the lead.
Day 1: Wellington Firebirds 278/4 against Auckland Aces
A strong middle order batting display has put the Wellington Firebirds in a handy position on a rain affected first day against the Auckland Aces at Colin Maiden Park in Auckland.
The home side started strongly, removing both openers for 12 and then had first drop, Neal Parlane, for 32.
Michael Pollard consolidated with a fine 60 before Luke Woodcock and Stewart Rhodes edged away from Auckland with an unbeaten 122 run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Wellington will resume tomorrow on 278 for four with Woodcock and Rhodes both on 74 not out.
Fast bowler Gareth Shaw was the best of the Aces attack with three for 58 with Michael Bates picking up the one other wicket to fall.
* Image of Luke Woodcock batting