Aces fall in close one at Hagley

The Auckland Aces have fallen to Canterbury by 38 runs in their Ford Trophy fixture today at Hagley Oval.

Asked to bowl first, the Aces were under pressure early with Canterbury openers Chad Bowes (22) and Michael Pollard (57) starting well before Pollard and BLACKCAP Henry Nicholls (70) put on 90 for the second wicket.

However, when the visitors turned to spin, things started to swing in their direction with Mark Chapman and Tarun Nethula weaving their magic.

Nethula took 3-43 from nine overs while Chapman was equally as impressive taking 2-44 from his eight.

The spinners stunted the home side’s momentum and brought the Aces right back in the contest as the middle order for Canterbury crumbled.

Sean Solia came back in the later overs and snared a couple of wickets as the tail looked for quick runs while Mitchell McClenaghan, Jamie Brown and Lockie Ferguson all chipped in with a wicket each throughout the innings.

After the fast start the visitors would have been the happier of the two sides at lunch, the Aces bowling Canterbury out in the final over for 266.

The reply didn’t start well for the Aucklanders, losing opener Graeme Beghin for a duck.

However, Jeet Raval (58) and Glenn Phillips (46) steadied things in the chase, Phillip’s runs coming at exactly a run-a-ball.

Mark Chapman continued the good work with a bright and breezy 41 but the Aces continued to lose consistent wickets in the middle overs.

As the required run rate started to creep up the Aces lost a few quick ones including the run outs of Skipper Craig Cachopa then Michael Barry.

The momentum had swung back in the Cantabs favour with the Aces needing 77 from the final ten overs.

Experienced heads Tarun Nethula and Mitchell McClenaghan tried valiantly to carve off the runs taking the game to the final few overs but the task became too big for the Aucklanders, bowled out for 228 in the 48th over.

The result means things stay tight in the race for the Ford Trophy semi-finals with the Aces playing the Otago Volts in their final round robin match this Sunday at Eden Park Outer Oval.

For a full scorecard of today’s fixture, click here.

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