O’Donnell and Nethula shine on day one v Northern

Hard graft with the bat has seen the Auckland Aces through to 322/9 at the close of play on day one in their Plunket Shield fixture against Northern Districts at Eden Park Outer Oval.

Aces skipper Rob Nicol won the toss and had no hesitation electing to bat first on another superb Outer Oval deck.

After losing two early wickets, the Aces rebuilt their innings through the efforts of ‘The Two Bobs’, O’Donnell and Nicol.

The pair ensured Auckland made it through to lunch without any further damage to be 91/2 at the break.

After lunch, O’Donnell in particular started to open up, finding the rope on 15 occasions on his way to a superb 75.

Along with Nicol (46), the pair put on 115 for the third wicket, vindicating the Aces decision to bat first.

In the middle session the visitors fought back, taking three wickets including the dangerous Sean Solia on the stroke of tea.

That meant Mark Chapman was joined by Ben Horne for the final session, the pair from Parnell taking the score past 200.

Chapman and Horne continued to tick things over after the tea break, putting on 68 for the sixth wicket and taking the Aces further into batting bonus point territory.

Both fell in the final session, Chapman just two short of a first-class half century with 48.

That left the final hour to Tarun Nethula who showed his ability with the blade scoring a run-a-ball half century putting on valuable runs in the lower order along with Mitchell McClenaghan.

McClenaghan and Nethula put together a 74-run partnership, the later falling just a ball after reaching his half century.

Lockie Ferguson was also dismissed on the stoke of stumps leaving McClenaghan unbeaten on 19* who will be joined by Raja Sandhu tomorrow morning.

For a full scorecard from the match click here.

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