26 Jun, Sunday

Day two cut short as Auckland bowlers find success


Day two cut short as Auckland bowlers find success

Praneel HiraAces

The Auckland Aces and Otago Volts shared the spoils on day two of their Plunket Shield match at Eden Park today.

The first session didn’t go particularly well for the Aces. Starting the day on 317/7, speed towards the 350 mark was of the essence. Instead, Matt McEwan toe-ended the ball and was caught at extra cover. With Ben Lister and Jamie Brown left to bat, centurion Mark Chapman needed to carry Auckland through. However, he holed out to mid-on, and the Aces innings ended on 337.

With the cloud cover darkening, the start of the Otago innings also didn’t go well for the Aces. Hamish Rutherford raced off the mark, making 50 before lunch. The bright spot of the session was the wicket of Camden Hawkins, who shouldered arms to McEwan and found himself clean-bowled. Otago went to the break at 92/1.

The second session started late after a lunchtime shower. The rain looked about to return at any moment but held off long enough for another session.

Whatever the lunchtime chat was for the Aces, it worked. After lunch they looked a different team. Sean Solia continued bowling, and dismissed Rutherford for 54 after he played all around the ball and lost his off-stump. The batsman was visibly furious with himself as he walked off, a great start wasted.

Four overs later, Solia had his second. Josh Tasman-Jones went out for 42 after he failed to clear Ben Lister at fine leg. Both set batsmen were gone and the Aces had their tails up.

Jamie Brown wasn’t letting a everyone else get all the glory, he got in on the act five overs later, trapping Mitch Renwick LBW for 0.

Shawn Hicks and Anaru Kitchen needed to see out the session. Auckland brought on Will Somerville and surrounded the bat with fielders – Graeme Beghin and Robbie O’Donnell both under the lid. Dot balls began to pile up, and it started to spit again.

McEwan, who had been wayward in the first session, pulled back his run rate until he became Auckland’s most economical bowler. Scoring shots were few and the batsmen were looking uncomfortable.

Then McEwan got his reward – Hicks caught behind off a solid edge. Otago was suddenly 147/5.

At the stroke of tea the rain strengthened. Players went off, covers went on, and the second session was firmly down for the Aces.

Unfortunately, the rain didn’t ease off after tea. Just after 5:00pm, the umpires called stumps on the day. With luck the weather will pass overnight, and both teams will be back into it on Saturday.

Full scorecard here.

Image credit: Photosport.co.nz