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Aces look impressive on day two

A stuttering first hour didn’t hamper the Aces batting effort as they put on 130 runs against Northern Districts on day two of their Plunket Shield match.

Mark Chapman walked out to start his innings with Robbie O’Donnell. He made nine before being bowled by a ball from Ish Sodhi which slid through off the surface.

Finn Allen and Ben Horne also made single figures, Horne run out after a mix-up with O’Donnell.

O’Donnell went on to make his 50, and then started hitting, including a six hit straight back over Sodhi’s head. It was that hitting which proved his downfall, after he was caught on the boundary off Scott Kuggelijn for 65.

Matt McEwan and Danru Ferns combined to put on a 50 partnership in 60 balls, a couple of knocks that would have frustrated the ND bowlers no end. They took the Aces through to lunch, and after, through to 250.

McEwan was finally dismissed one over before Northern Districts took the new ball. Ben Lister came in, edged a four, and was duly caught behind the next ball.

With Lister’s wicket Kuggelijn had five for the innings. Ferns was not out on 21, and Auckland had 272 on the board – a 138-run lead.

Northern Districts’ second innings started in much the same way as their first – both openers were back in the shed with the score at 12/2. But ND dug their heels in, Tim Seifert and Joe Carter getting their team back into the day’s play.

After the opening two overs McEwan, who took a blow to the head while batting, came off with concussion. He was replaced in the match by Jamie Brown.

With Seifert and Carter still in, and ND at 153/3, the last session of the day was shaping up to go ND’s way.

Then birthday-boy Sean Solia decided they weren’t going to ruin his party, and picked up both set batsmen within four overs. Seifert was LBW for 51, and Carter was caught by Allen for 69, diving to his left at first slip.

It wasn’t even the most impressive of Allen’s three catches. The first was to dismiss Daryll Mitchell, Allen going to his right at leg-slip. And the last was a left-handed take at a close second slip to send Anton Devcich back to the sheds.

At six wickets down for 200 in the last over of the day, the spoils might have been shared. But the last over saw action yesterday, and the same went for today, Kuggelijn caught behind at head-height by Horne after he top-edged a ball from Ferns.

ND went off the field at 200/7, with a lead of 62, and the Aces firmly in the box seat.

Full scorecard here

Image credit: Photosport.co.nz

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