The ACES fought hard to stay ahead in the match as the Wellington Firebirds hit back on Day Two at the Basin.
Wickets continued to fall as batting in the morning session remained a tricky prospect. Firebirds’ quick Ben Sears came hard at the ACES, grabbing the wickets of resuming pair Mark Chapman and Sean Solia before either added to their overnight scores.
Sears then added Horne and Jamieson either side of a rain delay during a period where the ACES lost 4-4. Skipper Robert O’Donnell then combined with the experienced head of Will Somerville (27) to bat the ACES into a modicum of ascendency. The crucial eighth-wicket stand of 65 eased some of the pressure.
O’Donnell freed up with the tail, hitting 11 fours in his unbeaten 60. The skipper fought through some tight bowling with several elegant drives and cuts before Sears came back one last time to claim his sixth wicket and bowl the ACES out for 217.
Matt McEwan found the outside edge of Rachin Ravindra early on with a delivery scarily similar to the one he dismissed the Firebird’s opener with in the first innings. Just after Colson had hit a flurry of boundaries, Solia was introduced into the attack. Colson picked out Raval in the covers and the ACES had both openers.
Batting proved easier in the evening session when Wellington began their second stint at the crease. The ACES bowlers were made to work with Devon Conway and Michael Bracewell forming a resolute third-wicket partnership. The left-handed duo kept the ACES at bay adding 55 runs as honours head toward parity.
Bad light again ended play just after 6 pm. The ACES move on to Day Three with a lead of 22 runs looking to capitalise during tomorrow’s morning session.
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