Canterbury vs. Auckland ACES | Canterbury won by 13 runs
After moist run-ups delayed the start for more than four hours, a 29-over match finally begun with Canterbury winning the toss and deciding to bat first.
The ACES made a fine start as skipper Robbie O’Donnell threw Louis Delport the new ball. The left-arm spinner set the tone with his first three overs going for just seven runs, including a maiden to help close out the six-over powerplay.
Ben Lister was the first to strike with Chad Bowes caught in the deep by Graeme Beghin. Ken McClure followed in similar circumstances midway through the 7th over, when Ross ter Braak (2-50) entered the attack.
With experienced Canterbury duo Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham at the crease and taking their side past 50, the ACES searched for a way to slow the scoring. Just when Nicholls (49) began to cut loose, Ollie Pringle held his nerve, hitting the base of the left-hander’s off-stump.
The big shots kept coming from the Canterbury middle-order. Latham led the way, piercing gaps and finding boundaries, hitting an unbeaten 118 off 75 balls as the hosts posted a daunting total of 238/5 from their 29 overs.
Graeme Beghin (42) and Cole Briggs (29) gave the ACES the perfect start to the chase, taking 52 from the first five overs. Will O’Donnell hit a four and a six off Cole McConchie to get his innings underway and help the ACES keep their foot down.
Canterbury leg-spinner Todd Astle (3-32) then turned the game on its head, taking three wickets in his first four overs, including two from back-to-back deliveries in the 14th over.
Five down, Will O’Donnell was forced to take stock with ter Braak. The pair negotiated the fired-up Canterbury attack before setting sight on the total. O’Donnell brought up his 7th 50+ score of this Ford Trophy campaign, while ter Braak repaid his recent promotion to No. 7, hitting 32 off 27 balls.
With the match back in the balance, Will Williams had ter Braak caught in the deep. A tidy over from Sean Davey then left the ACES needing 42 from the final 24 balls. Williams then delivered another fine over and claimed was the big wicket of O’Donnell (79).
Led by Williams at the death, the Canterbury bowlers closed out the game brilliantly, not conceding any boundaries between the 24th and 27th overs. The ACES finished on 225/8, falling 13 runs short, ending their hopes of defending the Ford Trophy.