Twin tons propel Aces into The Ford Trophy Grand Final

The Auckland Aces have booked a ticket to Hagley Oval to play Canterbury for the 2023/24 Ford Trophy title this Saturday, defeating the Otago Volts by four wickets in a gripping contest this afternoon in Dunedin.

For the gutted Volts, it's the second year in a row they've bowed out in the knockout, bringing their brilliant run to an end.

2023/24 Ford Trophy Elimination Final

Wednesday, 21 February 2024

University of Otago Oval, Dunedin

Otago Volts (Q2) lost to Auckland Aces (Q3) by four wickets


The teams traded centuries, Volts left-hand allrounder Luke Georgeson having continued his electric all-round form with his maiden hundred in this competition. 


But Aces veteran Martin Guptill had the answer with his 31st List A one-day ton getting a successful chase on course for the Aucklanders, before Robbie O'Donnell added a century of his own to put the team in sight of the finish line.

The Aces will now head to Saturday’s Grand Final seeking their fourth Ford Trophy title in seven years, and a Dream11 Super Smash/Ford Trophy double for 2023/24, while top qualifier Canterbury is hungry to reclaim the trophy they last lifted in March 2021 when they beat Northern Districts, also at Hagley Oval.


Chasing the Volts’ 276 all out in exactly 50 overs, the Aces had needed six runs per over to meet that target this afternoon.

By the 30-over mark, solid work from Martin Guptill and Robbie O’Donnell had pared that requirement down to five an over off the last 20 - from a solid platform of 178/2 with a century stand for the third wicket (109).

Guptill was about to celebrate his 31st List A century (10th for the Auckland Aces), pulling Jacob Duffy to the rope to reach his three figures off 81 balls, with 12 boundaries and two sixes.

The masterful opener was out two balls later (caught by Luke Georgeson off Dean Foxcroft for 102), but by now the Aces were well on track, just a further 92 off 114 balls required.

Experienced O’Donnell - who had scored a ton a week ago in the penultimate round of the competition, quickly recombined with his younger brother Will O’Donnell to keep the pressure on the attack.

The siblings piled on 80 together before Will O’Donnell was run out with just 12 from 25 needed for the win.

Robbie O’Donnell (who reached 104 off 114) went on to his third List A ton  - and second in the space of a week, brought up by carving Georgeson for six at the start of the 47th over.


Georgeson had him caught behind next ball — in similar fashion to Georgeson’s own dismissal, but now only six more runs were needed to ink in the Aces' tickets to Christchurch.

There would be further late consolation for the Volts as Foxcroft had Jock McKenzie stumped off a wide before Danru Ferns brought home the victory with nine balls to spare — ending the Volts’ fine run through the back half of the competition, four consecutive victories having propelled them from the wrong end of the table into today’s playoff.


Earlier, Aces captain Sean Solia - making his return from injury for this key match and taking back the captain's armband from Robbie O'Donnell, won the toss and bowled in overcast conditions. But his side had to get past a man in phenomenal all-round form. 

Opening the Volts’ batting, Luke Georgeson today joined a select band of New Zealand allrounders with two (or more) five-wicket bags as well two centuries in men’s List A one-day cricket.

Georgeson, 24, came from nowhere this summer to be one of the standout players on the Domestic white-ball scene, and had turned down a two-year Ireland contract in early 2022 in order to continue plying his trade in New Zealand Domestic cricket.

He joined the Otago Volts for the first time this summer, after 12 Ford Trophy appearances for the Wellington Firebirds for whom he made his List A debut back in February 2020.

After that debut, the now 24-year-old had headed to Ireland to play five games for the (Irish) Northern Knights in Ireland’s Domestic league — scoring his debut List A century there in Belfast, a knock of 128 off 118 balls in June 2021.

That was his only List A century until today, when he crafted his 120 off 150 balls for the Volts, including 18 fours and a six, in the high stakes Elimination Final.

That six took an age to be confirmed, the Aces having thought they had finally had him caught at 158/1 in the 26th over, bowled by left-arm weapon Ben Lister.

Georgeson wasn’t convinced, and neither were the umpires after they conferred, ruling the attempted catch had breached the rope and was therefore a six.

Georgeson’s first Ford Trophy hundred followed a brilliant fortnight in which he’d also taken his first two one-day bags: 5/37 in a win against the Wellington Firebirds at the Cello Basin Reserve (Round 8), then a sizzling new career best 5/11 in Queenstown that blew away the Firebirds again, during Sunday’s last round of the regular season. 

His previous best with the ball was 4/42, for the Firebirds last summer.

Jacob Cumming | PHOTOSPORT

Today it was his batting on show as he threatened to carry his bat. He kept going after a 110-run opening stand with young Jacob Cumming (46), and dominated a 76-run second-wicket partnership with captain Dean Foxcroft as the sun began shining overhead.

He batted all the way into the 43rd over in a three-hour knock, taking his team to 208/3 before he feathered one off his gloves, caught behind off Jock McKenzie.

The Volts had lost Dale Phillips just one ball earlier, and the new pairing of Max Chu and Llew Johnson added a quick 39 in just four overs for the fifth wicket, before a sudden flurry of six wickets helped the Aces control the damage at the death.

Danru Ferns picked up three late wickets to finish with 3/42, while Lister (2/75) was more threatening early in the match than his figures suggest. 

Twenty-year-old emerging paceman Angus Olliver (1/51 off nine) had meanwhile also troubled the Volts early with some delicious outswing, while Jock McKenzie finished with a tidy 2/35.






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