CANTERBURY beat AUCKLAND ACES by 119 runs - bonus point win
6 February 2024
Kennards Hire Community Oval, Auckland
Points: Canterbury 5, Auckland Aces 0
- Angus Olliver: Auckland Aces and List A debut (below left)
- Nikith Perera: List A debut (below right)
- Angus Olliver: maiden wicket (Chad Bowes)
AUCKLAND CRICKET ASSOCIATION
Last summer's frustrated Ford Trophy finalist Canterbury roared up the table into second spot on Waitangi Day 2024, chalking up a big, 119-run bonus point away win over former frontrunners the Auckland Aces.
In a round of upsets that tightened the table with just three games to go, the Aces initially had plenty to celebrate with one of their two debutants, young quick Angus Olliver, impressing with 3/42 off his 10, while fellow debutant Nikith Perera would return 0/54 off his 10 bowling later in the innings.
Olliver opened the attack with Danru Ferns, and had his maiden wicket, Chad Bowes, in his fourth over, caught by his captain at 43/1.
Olliver would go on to add another two big names to his kit bag in Leo Carter and Canterbury skipper Cole McConchie, just not before Canterbury had added some important runs - Carter top-scoring with 80.
He shared a 69-run third-wicket stand with Mitch Hay (32) who was run out by a calamitous case of ball-watching from his partner, for a run that was always going to be tight but descended into chaos.
Carter kept his composure to add a further 78 with McConchie (36), and that took them through to the 38th over before Olliver prised them apart.
A handful of sixes across the match had kept the regular spectators entertained, and Michael Rippon hit three more in his quick unbeaten knock of 48* off 35 balls that saw the visitors' total blow out to 287/7.
That was a fair chase for the Aces who lost George Worker in the second over with just one run on the board. Zak Foulkes had the breakthrough, and he soon added the big wicket of a scoreless Sean Solia in his next over, with big Will O'Rourke keeping the pressure on at the other end.
It wasn't until the ninth over that the pressure began to ease with a trio of leg-side boundaries from Robbie O'Donnell at the end of the big man's first spell. Then he caned Ed Nuttall for six over the same spot.
But Canterbury succeeded in pulling it back again, and Nuttall had his revenge when O'Donnell was caught attempting the same stroke off the quicker pace at 63/3.
Cole Briggs departing just a few balls later, a wicket for Gus McKenzie and that left Will O'Donnell and Cam Fletcher with an important partnership to build from 63/4 in the 18th over, with a further 224 required.
Will O'Rourke | MBUTCHER
After a change-down to spin for a couple of overs, canny McConchie brought back his main strikeman O'Rourke in the 25th over, and the 22-year-old repaid him by bouncing out Fletcher, caught on 24.
From there, McConchie shuffled through his pack, not allowing any new batter to settle, and the wickets kept coming for Foulkes, Nuttall and Rippon while Will O'Donnell (45) hung on with an increasing burden on his big shoulders.
He was the last to fall, Rippon wrapping things up in just the 40th over for an impressive victory.
Foulkes' 3/15 had cost just 2.14 runs per over, while O'Rourke had done his job with 1/30 and Nuttall 2/38 in a frontline pace attack that proved just too good for the Aucklanders on this occasion.