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Ferguson five gives Aces ascendancy

The Aces are on top after day two of their Plunket Shield fixture against the Wellington Firebirds after finishing the day on 124/5 in their second innings with an overall lead of 254 runs.

The Aces came out with real purpose with the ball in the opening session, the quick bowlers terrorising the Firebirds batting lineup taking seven wickets before lunch.

Lockie Ferguson was at his brutal best taking 5-63 from 16 overs, kicking off the carnage in the third over with the wicket of Michael Papps.

Ben ‘Spidey’ Lister (3-42) and Danru Ferns (2-30) played superb supporting roles as the quicks took all ten Wellington wickets between them.

Lister once again proved difficult to handle for the top order swinging the ball both ways claiming the prized wicket of Tom Blundell for a duck.

Ferns toiled away for seven overs and managed to remove Stephen Murdoch (22) who has hurt the Aces on the Outer Oval in the past.

With lunch closing in, Ferguson knocked over Devon Conway (25) who was also looking dangerous to take the Aces to the break with the Firebirds on 94/7.

With a spring in their step, the Aces came out after lunch looking to mop up the tail.

However, tailenders Hamish Bennett (24) and Iain McPeake (33) had other ideas.

Their stubborn last wicket partnership made a further 58 runs giving the visitors total an air of respectability – 174, the Aces with a lead of 130 runs.

Openers Sean Solia and Michael Guptill-Bunce got the home side off to another fast start in their second dig, the Aces going to tea 39/1 after losing the Skipper.

The final session was another positive one for the Aucklanders, Sean Solia kicked on notching up a second half century for the match.

Solia once again looked right at home on the Outer Oval surface timing the ball with ease for his 59 runs.

Jeetan Patel kept fighting for the visitors claiming the wickets of Solia and Glenn Phillips late in the day to keep the Firebirds in the contest.

However, Mark Chapman (21*) and Ben Horne (9*) held their nerve, seeing out the remainder of the day before the umpires took the players off for bad light.

The Aces will resume tomorrow on 124/4 with a lead of 254 runs and five second innings wickets remaining.

For a full scorecard from day one Auckland Aces v Wellington Firebirds, click here.

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