The Auckland Aces are firmly in the hunt for the Plunket Shield as they head to Rangiora to take on Canterbury from tomorrow.
After a marathon draw against Northern Districts in round six, Auckland sits second on the Plunket Shield ladder, within striking distance of first placed Central Districts.
The match against Northern Districts saw centuries from both Martin Guptill and Glenn Phillips, as well as a marathon bowling effort on days two and three.
Auckland Aces Head Coach Mark O’Donnell praised the work the bowlers put in.
“They put in a lot of graft on a pitch that wasn’t giving them anything.”
“Will Somerville was a standout in that regard. And it’s nice to have Lockie back and hitting the deck hard over after over.”
Despite this, O’Donnell says that the bowlers will be fresh if the Aces are in the field first tomorrow.
“They’ve had an extra day off, and we’ve managed their loads well. We’ve looked after them so they’re all fresh.
“Our batsmen have shown they’re in good touch, so we’re ready to go come Saturday.”
With Canterbury now third on the ladder, O’Donnell expects both sides to be after a result.
“Canterbury needs points and we need points.
“So, we have to go in looking at what we can control and see where we are after each session.”
He says that there’s no point crystal-ball gazing or trying to worry about what’s happening next.
“We’ll worry about ourselves, first and foremost. Anything else is only going to be a distraction.”
The Auckland Aces play Canterbury in round seven of the Plunket Shield at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora, from Saturday 9 to Tuesday 12 March. Each day’s play starts at 10:30.
Auckland Aces squad to play Canterbury:
Robert O’Donnell (C)
Ben Horne (WK)
Image credit: Photosport.co.nz