Auckland ACES vs. Central Stags | ACES won by 93 runs
The ACES are right in the mix for the Ford Trophy playoffs after a 93-run win over the Central Stags at Eden Park Outer Oval today.
Sean Solia and Cole Briggs backed Robbie O’Donnell’s decision to bat first by putting on a second successive 100-run opening stand.
Solia was again the first to fifty, with the left-hander hitting 57 off 54 balls before falling to an outstanding catch by Christian Leopard at long-off.
Briggs continued with No. 3 Will O’Donnell and the pair built a partnership of 130 to put the ACES on track for 350. It was another impressive knock from Briggs, who hit 11 fours and 2 sixes.
Briggs looked destined to score a second century in three days until the young batsman encountered some nerves in the 90s. Dropped on 98, the ACES new opener scored a further single before some quick work by Dane Cleaver had him stumped for one short of a century.
Will O’Donnell (81), scoring his sixth 50+ score of the campaign, took on the mantle of finishing the inning, but the ACES didn’t have it all their own way losing 7-45 at the death to post 311/9. Leopard, Jayden Lennox, Ajaz Patel and Josh Clarkson all picked up two wickets for the Stags, who will have been pleased with their fightback.
The visitors took confidence from their rally with the ball and flew out of the blocks through George Worker and Dane Cleaver. Debutant Andy Morrison had a hand in the wickets of both Stags openers, snaffling Worker before finishing off some fine work from Will Somerville to run out Cleaver.
Louis Delport (3-45) then sprung into action with the wickets of Ross Taylor and Josh Clarkson. The left-arm spinner finished his spell with the key wicket of Will Young (79), just as the Stags star threatened to get his side back into the match.
The Stags were eventually all out for 218 in the 40th over as Ross ter Braak (3-45) tidied up the tail. A fine effort in the field helped the ACES collect a crucial bonus-point win heading into next weekend’s final Ford Trophy double against Canterbury. The ACES now sit third-equal on a tight table.