Aces in driver’s seat heading into final day
The Auckland Aces finished day three 151/2 with an overall lead of 278 runs, setting up an intriguing final day of Plunket Shield action against Northern Districts at Eden Park Outer Oval.
Auckland’s bowlers started day three with some fire in the belly, Corey Anderson only able to add four to his overnight tally before Raja Sandhu trapped him in front for 80.
Sandhu had another soon after, nabbing Nick Kelly for a duck on his way to superb figures of 4/29 from his 16 overs.
Henry Cooper grafted hard to reach his maiden first-class century as lunch approached but after achieving the milestone he was dismissed for 101 by Mitchell McClenaghan.
Northern Districts headed to the break at 291/6, the match evenly poised for the afternoon sessions.
Coming out after the break the Auckland bowlers kept the pressure on the Northern lower order, Lockie Ferguson getting through a colossal 27 overs bowling with good pace and bounce.
Leg spinner Tarun Nethula claimed another couple of early poles in the middle session to finish with impressive figures of 4/70 from his 28.4 overs.
A solid all round effort from the Aces attack, bowling Northern out for 334 in the 107th over.
Coming out to bat for their second dig and the Aces lost opener Michael Guptill-Bunce cheaply before Robbie O’Donnell and Glenn Phillips went about steadying the ship.
When O’Donnell departed shortly after tea, Phillips was joined by skipper Rob Nicol and the pair went about building a superb partnership.
Phillips was particularly brutal on the short ball, his innings dotted with 14 boundaries as he and Nicol saw the Aces through to stumps on 151/2.
Phillips will resume tomorrow on 86*, Nicol 24* with the Aucklanders looking to finish their final home game of the season on a winning note.
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