The ACES have jostled into a solid position heading into Moving Day against the Central Stags at Eden Park Outer Oval.
You wouldn’t have wanted to turn up late this morning as Kyle Jamieson stole the show. Within the first half an hour, the 25-year old grabbed the headlines with an electrifying hat trick.
Mid-way through the 27th over, Jamieson stood perplexed in the middle of the wicket after Tom Bruce’s attempted pull flew for six over the keeper. Jamieson then went back to his hard length drawing in Bruce’s outside edge that Martin Guptill gleefully accepted above his head at second slip.
Jamieson didn’t stop there bursting through Dane Cleaver’s defence with the very next ball to set up a hat trick. Brad Schmulian then took his time getting himself ready for his first ball. The ACES seamer was raring to go at the top of his mark visualising the perfect delivery. Then Jamieson delivered it; good length, outside off, nipping back, top of off. The celebrations began.
Experienced duo George Worker (53) and Doug Bracewell (20) then threatened to push the Stags into a first-inning lead before Jamieson struck again. Bracewell’s inside edge grazed the leg-stump to seal Jamieson (5-41) five-wicket bags in back-to-back Plunket Shield matches and three on the bounce including last summer’s maiden Test five-for against India.
Three different bowlers took wickets to finish off the Stags tail as Sean Solia (2-29), Ollie Pringle (1-19) and Danru Ferns (2-22) helped the ACES to a 17-run lead. The Stags opening bowlers were again tidy when the players returned from lunch. The early wicket of Solia gave the Stags a boost, but Graeme Beghin (55) and Glenn Phillips (66) put together a defining second-wicket stand of 112 runs.
Beghin’s half-century was a patient one, while Phillips attacked to bring up his fifty from 48 balls, including 11 fours and another six on to the Eden Park concourse.
Trouble returned when Ray Toole (2-32) bagged Beghin and Phillips in quick succession. Patient knocks by Mark Chapman and Martin Guptill kept the Stags at bay as the ACES lead built, but mistimed forceful shots ended both their knocks.
At 163/5, with an hour of play left in the day, Ben Horne joined skipper Robbie O’Donnell. The pair sensed the need for calm heads, soaked up the pressure and, most importantly, kept their wickets intact for tomorrow seeing off the final 17 overs of the day.
The ACES will resume at 198/5 with a 212-run lead on Day Three.
Auckland ACES 167 (M Chapman 54, D Bracewell 3-18, S Rance 3-54) and 198/5 (G Phillips 66, G Beghin 55) lead Central Stags 150 (G Worker 53, K Jamieson 5-41)