Clinical Canterbury | PHOTOSPORT

Jordan Sussex does it again

Video Highlights



CANTERBURY defeated AUCKLAND ACES by 6 wickets

Kennards Hire Community Oval, Eden Park, Auckland

24-26 March 2024


Wellington Firebirds: 8

Northern Districts: 7

Central Stags: 20

Otago Volts: 5

Canterbury: 17

Auckland Aces: 5




Zak Foulkes: maiden first-class five-wicket bag

Mitch Hay and Sean Davey: 10th wicket record for Canterbury first-class matches against Auckland

Jordan Sussex: second first-class five-wicket bag (in consecutive matches)

Jordan Sussex: career-best figures (8/71)


Canterbury's final game and win of the 2023/24 season - including a Zak Foulkes maiden bag, will ironically be better remembered for the extraordinary wicket-taking spree as the opposition continued to play their wildcard.

Jordan Sussex was fresh off his maiden bag, a match-winning six-for, in Napier in the previous match. The seldom sighted 30-year-old, a career physiotherapist, had been playing in just his second Auckland Aces match there, and that was after a two-year absence.

Jordan Sussex | PHOTOSPORT

His brilliance on the final day produced Auckland's first win of an otherwise flat Plunket Shield season, upsetting the Central Stags on their home turf. As things turned out, the last-day lapse would cost the Stags dearly: one more win would ultimately have proven enough to defend their title.

Now, in Auckland, Sussex was at it again...

But this time, consistent Canterbury would be too good to let a left-field eight-for stand in the way of a top finish to their own 'nearly' season.

Brothers Angus and Jock McKenzie squared off in the first-class arena for the first time | PHOTOSPORT


The same band of wet weather that was busy upsetting the start of the big match down the State Highway in Hamilton also delayed the contest between the Auckland Aces and Canterbury in the big smoke.

However, 89 overs, and plenty of wickets, would still be possible on the first day in an ultimately fast-moving game.


Only the concurrent match in Napier got underway on time in this final round. At Eden Park's overcast outer oval, Canterbury captain Cole McConchie eventually won the toss and he unsurprisingly bowled, as most captains do when there's been wet weather around.

Although the day was shortened - even with a mid-afternoon pause for bad light, there proved plenty of time with which to bowl the hosts out on the opening afternoon. Advantage, Canterbury.

Zak Foulkes opened the attack alongside Sean Davey and, in just the second over of the day, had his first wicket, Will O'Donnell guiding his third delivery to second slip.

Foulkes was off the mark with figures of 1/0, and soon made that 2/3 when he got the Aces' other opener, Sean Solia, a couple of overs later, generating some nippy pace.


The hosts' 17/2 became 30/3 when Foulkes, again, accounted for the other O'Donnell brother, Robbie caught off a mistimed drive as the sun peeked through onto the muggy oval, traffic whizzing by.

The Aces were sorely in need to a partnership. Young Quinn Sunde combined with veteran George Worker to provide a fightback.

An attractive combination, the pair added 54 runs and was truckling nicely against the change bowlers before Foulkes came back into the attack in the 27th over from the Sandringham end. And guess what? Almost immediately the rising star struck again for his fourth.

George Worker | PHOTOSPORT

Worker had been the victim this time on 26, feathering behind on this landmark afternoon.

The wicket brought Jock McKenzie to the middle to face his own brother Angus for the first time in the Plunket Shield.

Meanwhile, Sunde had begun to look uncomfortable as he got within sight of a potential half century. When he heard his stumps clunk behind him on 41, Foulkes had his maiden first-class bag - sitting on impressive interim figures of 5/23 from just 9.1 overs - including two maidens.

Zak Foulkes | PHOTOSPORT

It was a special moment for the Canterbury team, and seemed to lift them further as Foulkes and A. McKenzie attacked the new combo of J. McKenzie and Cole Briggs (the wicketkeeper/batter in for Cam Fletcher, who had been a late withdrawal from the prematch squad with injury).

It was a tough little period, but Jock McKenzie shattered the peace when he hooked his brother to the boundary, shortly after the home team had got their hundred up on the board - forcing a bowling change.

Jock McKenzie | PHOTOSPORT

Sunde's 41 in some two hours would remain as the Aucklanders' collective top score, however, as Canterbury closed in.

Despite all sorts of contributions and a few hefty sixes from the wagging tail, the Aces could muster only 216 before they were all out in the last session.

Foulkes finished with 5/35, while Michael Rae (2/36), Michael Rippon (2/43) and Angus McKenzie (1/52) mopped up.

Michael Rae | PHOTOSPORT

Canterbury had time to get in a fair chunk of batting before bad light, again, came into play and ended the day. But the period had cost them three wickets in reply, 107/3 after 22 overs.

McConchie would head into the second day on 34*, nightwatchman Rae surviving five balls till the end of play.


Jordan Sussex meanwhile had already pocketed two big wickets in Henry Nicholls (caught behind off Sussex's first over) and Chad Bowes, before Sean Solia added Rhys Mariu (41 off just 54 balls) shortly before the end of the day, crucially breaking a dangerous 65-run stand with McConchie for the third.


Anything you can do, I can do better? That might have been the tune Jordan Sussex was humming in his head as play again got off to a delayed start on the second day.

By the end of the rejigged first session, he had a new career best haul of 7/63 - and he wasn't done.

The seamer's fillip had made sure Canterbury didn't get to capitalise on their fair start, finding themselves nine down in a hurry and still a handful of runs behind Auckland's first innings tally.

Rae had departed quickly, but when Danru Ferns removed fellow overnight batsman McConchie soon after on 41, the Aces had dealt a big early blow.

Mitch Hay joined Leo Carter but the latter fell to that man Sussex soon after, nicking behind to an elated Briggs at 137/6.

In his next over, Sussex added Rippon, bowling the experienced allrounder for no score to collect his second bag on the bounce (5/42 at this point).

Jordan Sussex | PHOTOSPORT

Just three deliveries later Sussex made it three wickets in three consecutive overs from his end as he dished out revenge on Foulkes, his sixth victim propelling a thick edge to slips at 139/8.

Hay was left wondering if anyone could stick with him when Sussex swiftly delivered another wicket in the as yet unbroken opening spell for the day, Gus McKenzie this time making the walk back to the sheds after another nick to slips on one.

Lunch was still some 23 overs away and Canterbury's plans were now in disarray, but their 10th wicket partnership would prove to be a good one.


Sean Davey had headed out to join Hay with a career best of 55, and he came close to equalling that PB as he added an invaluable 95 runs for the final wicket.

Davey even contributed the lion's share; the polished, tall Hay contributing 41 of those runs (off 62 balls), and Davey 53 off 74 in a new 10th wicket record for Canterbury's matches against the Aces.

It had been hard graft to start, but the pair was patient. Davey grew in confidence before slapping Louis Delport across the line for six. Hay chalked up the Canterbury 200 in the next over, them Davey targeted Delport again for an even more splendid six, back over his head and into the stand.

Hay followed suit in the next over with back-to-back sixes off Jock McKenzie bringing up his half century, off 82 balls.

Making hay as the sun shone, as they say, at 231/9 in the 55th over, the visitors now had a slight lead. Davey followed suit, posting his own half century off 63 balls (4x4, 2x6) right before lunch, the duo proudly coming back in for lunch unbeaten at 238/9.

Emerging paceman Angus Olliver | PHOTOSPORT

The Aces' attack relished the chance to refuel, recharge and reset, however, and took fewer than three overs after lunch to wrap up the innings - Sussex again doing the business to complete a stunning back-to-back bag of 8/71 off 18.5 overs.

Davey had been the man to go, Briggs diving for the caught behind to end his gallant 53.

With a 26-run first innings lead, but just one batting bonus point to go with their full set of four bowling points, Canterbury now needed to put the Aces back under the pump with the ball.

Foulkes and Davey made a good start, Davey getting the opening breakthrough in the 10th over with Will O'Donnell again caught by Nicholls in the slips, an action replay of the first innings albeit off the other bowler, this time.


Sunde then played on at 79/2 in the 22nd over as Gus McKenzie celebrated, and Canterbury had two dangermen back in the changing room for relatively low cost.

Opener Sean Solia and Robbie O'Donnell dug in for the third wicket, putting on a patient unbroken 64* together and taking the overall lead to 117 before stumps were called at 143/2.


After the now-customary ground delay, the pivotal third morning soon turned to custard for the hosts as both set overnight batters, Solia and captain Robbie O'Donnell, were dismissed without adding to their score.

Solia had worked hard for his 84, only to snick a straightforward catch to the sure hands of Chad Bowes off Rae. O'Donnell departed six balls later, well caught by Nicholls in the slips, off Foulkes, for 27. The Aces were now suddenly 145/4, the match in the balance again.

The new pairing of Worker and McKenzie had a big job to do, and added 80 for the fifth wicket over the ensuing 22 overs, bringing back the game-within-the-game between the McKenzie brothers.

Jock McKenzie | PHOTOSPORT

However, the 68th over was a big one for Canterbury with Worker caught by a juggling Mariu in the deep, ending his tally at 43.

When McKenzie was castled by Rae next over on 40, the Aces were in trouble all over again at 227/6, leading by just 201.

When Danru Ferns was run out taking a sharp single soon after, the visitors were back on top. Sean Davey (4/82) came back into the attack and delivered a brutal 79th over that accounted for the final three Auckland wickets, the Aces all out for 257 in the middle session.


Now Canterbury needed just 232 to win, and that was something they could achieve with a day to spare, clinically wrapping up a six-wicket victory that afternoon.

Canterbury reached their target without too much trouble after brisk contributions from all their top four, Rhys Mariu top-scoring with an unbeaten 62*. 


Taking 17 of the possible 20 points from the match, Canterbury now sat in interim third spot on the table - and even with the title beyond their reach, rankings still counted as it determines who plays who twice, in the following season.

However, an innings victory to the Central Stags in Napier would see Canterbury drop back into fourth: the lower half of the table, by a mere point.







Asahi CCC Dream11 Dulux Ford Gillette GJ Gardner KFC Life Direct Pals Powerade Spark Spark