The ACES had a disappointing end to the Ford Trophy round-robin after Neil Broom and Michael Rippon put in memorable performances for the Otago Volts in Dunedin.
After a start where only a wide came from the first two overs, Volts opener Nick Kelly (34) took to width, hitting 5 fours and a six from his next 13 deliveries. Mitch Renwick (33) then got in on the act with the Volts passing fifty in the 7th over.
Ben Lister made the initial breakthrough when Kelly attempted to drag the competition’s leading wicket-taker to the legside. The ACES had an opening when Sean Solia clung onto an outstanding return catch to dismiss Renwick before Dean Foxcroft spooned Louis Delport to cover.
Neil Broom and Josh Finnie built into their innings and eventually got on top of the ACES. The pair put on 136 for the fourth wicket; it came at better than a run-a-ball, reestablishing the Volts’ platform.
The Volts knew a win was imperative to sneak into the Elimination Final, so the foot remained to the floor. Finnie (69) wasn’t afraid to throw his hands through the ball or take the aerial route, racing to a 40-ball fifty. Broom’s fifty came a short while later, off 67 deliveries as the pair went stride for stride.
When Delport nabbed Finnie in 36th over and Ferns pried out Anaru Kitchen five overs later, the ACES threaten to drag the Volts back. It wasn’t to be; Broom (104) made his way to his 10th List A hundred before Michael Rippon (48*) and Dale Phillips (26*) won the death overs for the Volts with an unbeaten stand of 68 for the seventh wicket.
Chasing the Volts 354/6, the ACES would need significant stands of their own. While Jeet Raval and Colin Munro gave the chase a sound start, the pressure remained on the ACES. The Volts were desperate with the ball and 34/0 quickly became 42/3 in the space of three overs courtesy of a double-strike by Volts’ skipper Jacob Duffy.
Robbie O’Donnell joined Raval for the ACES’ best partnership of the day, taking the score past 100. Rippon (5-21) then turned the match in the Volts favour. The left-arm leg spinner took a wicket in each of his first five overs, starting with the wicket of Raval for 51.
There was no way back for the ACES, who were bowled out for 144.
The ACES attention now turns toward the Ford Trophy Final next Sunday at Eden Park’s Outer Oval.