01 Jul, Friday

ACES roll into Grand Final with fourth straight win


ACES roll into Grand Final with fourth straight win

Praneel HiraAces

Auckland ACES vs. Central Stags | ACES won by four wickets

ACES opener George Worker has become the first player to score four Ford Trophy centuries in a single summer, after his second big hundred in the space of three days.

The left-hander hit an unbeaten 139* off 144 balls (11 boundaries, three sixes) to guide his side home by three wickets in a last-over victory against the Central Stags.

Worker fought an early onslaught that saw the ACES slip to 19/2 in the sixth over and found support in fellow left-hander Mark Chapman, who hit 88 in an 182-run partnership for the third wicket. Ben Horne later added his might to the chase, with a dashing 35 off 26 balls.

Worker’s century was the 18th in his overall List A one-day career and fourth for the ACES, having joined the side this summer.

Earlier, the Stags won the toss and batted at Auckland’s Kennards Hire Community Oval, Brad Schmulian top-scoring with 75 and Ross Taylor backing up his recent form with another half century today: 59 off 54 balls, including one boundary and four sixes.

Back from injury, Auckland seamer Ollie Pringle grabbed three wickets in the space of four balls in the 45th over, with an LBW shout against Adam Milne – striking him on the foot on his hat-trick delivery, turned down by umpire Bowden.

Pringle’s efforts helped keep the Stags to 301 when it looked like it might be more, while Will Somerville (2-44) delivered another fine spell. Lockie Ferguson and Glenn Phillips also snared a couple wickets apiece.

Worker has now gone past 600 runs for this summer’s Ford Trophy and will require a further 36 runs in the Final to break Lou Vincent’s Auckland record for most one-day runs in a season (642).

The Ford Trophy Final is set for 11am this Saturday at John Davies Oval, Queenstown (behind closed gates), live and on demand at Spark Sport.