Aces lose out in nailbiter
Friday, 1 April 2011
Brad Cachopa top scored with 71
The Aces came within touching distance of an outright win over Canterbury but fell agonisingly 29 runs short to see the points head home with the mainlanders.
Set 289 to win off 89 overs early in the day the Aces looked to be in real trouble at 196/7 when Michael Bates was dismissed cheaply. However Bruce Martin joined Brad Cachopa at the crease and the two then went about pushing Auckland towards what would have been an unlikely victory.
The pair put on 59 for the eighth wicket and led the Aces to within sight of a win with some sensible batting. However on 71 Cachopa was lured into a false shot by Todd Astle and became his fourth victim.
From there it was all over very quickly as the last two wickets fell for only another five runs, giving the points to Canterbury and leaving them well in the hunt for the Plunket Shield.
Earlier in the day Greg Todd battled hard for his second half century of the game as he and Jeet Raval got the Aces off to a good start in their chase for the win. They shared a 52 run third wicket partnership that put the Aces on track, but three quick wickets forced them on to the back foot before first Todd and Cachopa, and then Cachopa and Martin got the Aces back in the game.
The Aces have one match remaining in the Plunket Shield where they face the Central Stags in Napier starting on Monday.