Final session sensation sees Aces to victory

A dramatic final session where the Aces took seven wickets has seen the home side claim a sensational 71-run victory in their Plunket Shield match against Northern Districts at Eden Park Outer Oval.

Heading into the final session, the visitors were sitting fairly comfortably at 164/3 and few would have dared to predict what was about to happen.

The Aces bowling unit came out with aggression and purpose, Tarun Nethula spearheading the effort where each bowler made a contribution to the unbelievable final session onslaught.

“It was always a challenge to get 20 wickets at this time of the season but the boys stuck in and kept coming hard at the opposition to produce this much needed result,” said bowling coach Azhar Abbas.

Nethula finished with figures of 5/84, cleaning up the final two wickets as the overs ticked down.

“Tarun is an experienced bowler for us and he shows his class season after season. It’s great to have someone like him in the team,” says Abbas.

Mitch McClenaghan, Robbie O’Donnell and Sean Solia all picked up a wicket a piece while Lockie Ferguson bowled with superb control to finish 2/24 from his 14 overs.

“We had a great mix of senior players and new faces performing, like Raja Sandhu in the first innings, everyone contributed to this performance,” Abbas says.

Earlier, Glenn Phillips’ season of milestones continued as he became the first New Zealand domestic player to score a century in a T20, List A and First Class season.

Starting the day on 86, Phillips didn’t waste much time in reaching his ton, sharing a special moment with skipper Rob Nicol when he brought up the milestone.

“It’s great to see a good young player taking his opportunity. It’s unusual to have played international cricket before playing First Class cricket but I guess David Warner did it so that’s not a bad one to follow,” says Aces coach Mark O’Donnell.

Soon after Phillip’s century, the Aces declared setting Northern 330 runs for victory.

It was anyone’s game heading to lunch with Northern Districts 58/0 with no hint of the carnage that was to follow.

“It’s a crucial win to keep us in the hunt, we were the one being chased last year now we are the ones doing the chasing,” says Mark O’Donnell.

For a full scorecard from the match click here.

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