The Auckland ACES have drawn their rain-affected Plunket Shield match with Northern Districts in Whangarei.
Northern Districts vs. Auckland ACES | Day Four
With rain wiping away Days One and Three, it was unlikely a result was going to eventuate at Cobham Oval today.
Northern Districts came out swinging in a bid to advance the match early on Day Four. Joe Carter (49), BJ Watling (37) and Scott Kuggeleijn (46) all played aggressively, while Jeet Raval (91) looked destined to score a hundred against his former side.
In the end, it turned into a day for Louis Delport to remember. The ACES left-arm spinner entered the day with one wicket and by the time the hosts declared at 281/8, he had career-best figures of 7-88 from his 17 overs.
Delport’s story doesn’t end there, however, with his final three wickets – Brett Hampton, Ish Sodhi and Watling – coming in consecutive deliveries to claim the ACES second Plunket Shield hat-trick of the summer after Kyle Jamieson’s effort against the Central Stags.
Trailing by 141, the ACES opening duo returned to the crease determined to spend some time at the crease. That is exactly what Sean Solia and Will O’Donnell did, keeping the Northern Districts bowlers at bay from two hours.
O’Donnell went on to finish unbeaten on 51 of 201 deliveries, his maiden First-Class fifty as the ACES worked their way to parity before the players shook hands with the ACES at 141/2 in the 66th over.
Day Three – washed out
The Auckland ACES face an uphill battle after a tough second day against Northern Districts at Cobham Oval.
Asked to bat first when the toss finally took place on at the start of Day Two, the ACES lost both openers early on. Under pressure from Northern Districts duo Neil Wagner and Scott Kuggeleijn, Glenn Phillips decided attack was the best form of defence. Phillips took 18 runs from the eighth over, hitting three fours and a six, but was later caught in the deep for 28 off 30 balls.
While the ACES found a way to score off Kuggeleijn, the Northern Districts opener remained a threat and played a major role in reducing the visitors to 65/5 in the first hour of play. Mark Chapman was then joined by debutant Ross ter Braak and the pair dug deep in the lead-up to lunch. Chapman (57) found the boundary on nine occasions before Kuggeleijn came back into the attack.
Kuggeleijn’s career-best figures of 7-45 saw the ACES all out for 141 in the 49th over.
While ter Braak and Ollie Pringle made a tidy start in reply, Northern Districts built away patiently. An opening stand of 70 between Jeet Raval (63*) and Henry Cooper (35) saw the hosts late into Day Two before the ACES hit back. Spinners Will Somerville and Louis Delport both bagged wickets in the final hour to give the ACES a lift heading into Day Three.
Northern Districts will resume 112/2 on Moving Day and the ACES will need early wickets to get back into the match.
Day One – washed out