The Auckland ACES were pushed by the Volts, but in the end, Mark Chapman showed his cool to help the ACES lift the Ford Trophy.
Opener Colin Munro posted his 9th List A century before Chapman brought the side home in spectacular fashion.
Munro pummelled 12 fours and 7 sixes, including one into the Eden Park car park, on his way to a 58-ball hundred.
While the runs were flowing, the ACES were never fully in control. Wickets fell at the other end, starting when Jacob Duffy found Martin Guptill’s outside edge in the first over. Jeet Raval followed soon after with the ACES number three powering his cut straight to backward point.
Munro did most of the scoring while he was at the crease. The ACES’ opener brought up his 21st hundred for Auckland across all formats, taking him past previous record-holder Tim McIntosh. To highlight Munro’s dominance, when he chopped on for 104, the ACES were yet to pass 150.
The pressure then came on as Nathan Smith threw the stumps down at the bowler’s end to dismiss ACES’ skipper Robbie O’Donnell. At 173/5, the ACES were well ahead of the asking rate, but with more than 100 runs still to score, needed a partnership.
Ben Horne played aggressively, accessing the distinctive angles of the Outer Oval. The ACES wicketkeeper hit 8 fours on his way to 42 off 30 balls. Mark Chapman provided the perfect foil, ticking over the strike and caressing four boundaries on his way to fifty.
There was plenty of drama left in the game. Duffy picked up his fourth wicket when Kyle Jamieson chipped a yorker to mid-wicket before Smith returned to go through Lockie Ferguson.
With Ben Lister in support, Chapman put Matt Bacon over the deep square-leg boundary. Chapman turned down a couple of singles, before calmly sealing victory with three sixes in four balls. The left-hander soaked up the pressure throughout his knock to finish on 84 off 78 balls, with all four of his sixes coming after reaching fifty.
Earlier, a dashing start by Hamish Rutherford and Mitch Renwick gave the Volts the perfect start. The openers made the most of the extra pace in the wicket with several of the early boundaries coming behind the wicket.
The ACES started to turn the tide when Munro caught Renwick short with a direct-hit throw from the covers. Two balls later, Rutherford (36*) was forced from the field having felt the full brunt of a sharp Ferguson bouncer, but not before hitting 7 fours and a six.
When Nick Kelly misguidedly left his first delivery, Jamieson shaved the top of the left-hander’s off stump. While the ACES had an opening, the experienced Neil Broom consolidated with Dean Foxcroft.
Louis Delport was again prominent through the middle of the inning and Chapman nabbed the big wicket of Broom (39) but it was surprise package Glenn Phillips, who sparked a Volts’ collapse with the help of some sharp keeping by Horne.
Phillips (3-40) slid one through to Josh Finnie’s back pad before twice combining with Horne to reduce the Volts to 187/7. Anaru Kitchen (60) was patient and he found support in skipper Jacob Duffy and concussion replacement, Matt Bacon as the Volts’ lower order rallied to post 283, all out in the final over.