Nicol says Aces ‘still in the race’

After having the majority of their pink ball fixture washed out, the Auckland Aces are looking to get back to winning ways when they face Northern Districts at Eden Park Outer Oval in Round Eight of the Plunket Shield starting tomorrow.

The Auckland side is largely unchanged with Raja Sandhu back in the XII after making his debut against Central Districts earlier this year.

Northern sit in second place on the Plunket Shield ladder while the Aces are in fourth but skipper Rob Nicol says his side are just one win away.

“We are still in the race, we just want to create wins now, the team are looking forward to the four days coming up and trying to get over the line,” Nicol says.

He says the side have been preparing well and are well aware of the dangers Northern posses, especially the likes of Ish Sodhi with the ball and Corey Anderson with the bat.

Nicol is also happy to have internationals Lockie Ferguson and Mitch McClenaghan at his disposal at the bowling crease.

“Those two are a big part of our group and have done really well with higher honours so when they come back it’s a chance for them to try and do something for us in a winning performance. Hopefully we have four days to work with and the weather plays ball,” Nicol says.

“We have a good depth of squad with young guys having a crack in all forms. Guys like Ben Horne are a good example of that, he’s been around the environment for a while, and was unlucky not to get the 100 in the last match.  He’s been gloving well, he brings plenty of energy in the field,” Nicol says.

With nearly 100mm of rain falling at Eden Park over the weekend, the ground staff have been working overtime to get the outfield and pitch ready for play tomorrow.

The Auckland Aces take on Northern Districts at Eden Park Outer Oval in the Plunket Shield, first ball at 10:30am.

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Auckland Aces

Mark Chapman

Lockie Ferguson

Donovan Grobbelaar

Michael Guptill-Bunce

Ben Horne

Mitchell McClenaghan

Tarun Nethula

Rob Nicol (c)

Robbie O’Donnell

Glenn Phillips

Raja Sandhu

Sean Solia

*Colin Munro unavailable for selection