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So close but so far for Aces in Napier

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It was a case of so close but so far for the Auckland Aces today, going down to the Central Stags by three wickets in Napier ending their chances of Plunket Shield glory.

After a delayed start, the Aces had a quick lick with the bat scoring 281 thanks to half centuries from Michael Guptill-Bunce, Colin Munro and Mark Chapman.

Skipper Rob Nicol also chipped in with 45 before declaring seven down setting the Stags a target of 301 to win.

The visitors got off to the perfect start, Donovan Grobbelaar accounting for Greg Hay in the first over of the innings.

The Aces also nabbed Ben Smith to have the Stags 99/2 and in with a real sniff of victory.

However, George Worker’s sixth first-class century (130) helped the Stags take control of the chase before going on to seal the three-wicket win that ensured the Plunket Shield would go to Canterbury.

Kudos must go to Stags off-spinner Ajaz Patel who finished as the Plunket Shield’s leading wicket-taker with a season haul of 44 wickets from nine matches.

Auckland Aces leg-spinner Tarun Nethula also had a brilliant season with the ball his total of 43 wickets from 10 matches giving him second spot on the wicket taking charts behind Patel.

For a full scorecard from the match click here.

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