The ACES have survived a tumultuous opening day at the Basin Reserve against the Wellington Firebirds to leave honours even.
Four fifties by ACES batsmen – Mark Chapman (95), Ben Horne (57), Glenn Phillips (54) and Kyle Jamieson (51) – helped the visitors post 279 in their first innings.
The ACES were in trouble early losing both openers for one by the end of the third over. Chapman and Phillips then played positively to get the ACES moving. Phillips was particularly aggressive on the legside pulling and hooking four sixes; Chapman, on the other hand, was his punchy self, finding gaps in front of the wicket to warm into his inning.
The pair put on 99 in good time to give the ACES the ascendancy before lunch, but the Firebirds would hit back. Though Phillips hit a fifth six to get to fifty, he was caught behind off the next delivery. Ollie Newton (2-61) and Michael Snedden (2-63) dismissed the experienced duo of Martin Guptill and Robert O’Donnell either side of lunch and the ACES needed a partnership.
Chapman continued on with wicketkeeper Ben Horne and approached a hundred as the pair took the ACES past 150. With Chapman one shot away from three-figures, Jamie Gibson found a little extra in the fresh Basin wicket and Chapman’s outside edge.
Horne formed another key partnership with Kyle Jamieson as the seventh wicket stand took the ACES from 177/6 to 262/7. Both batsmen were dismissed shortly after raising their bats as Iain McPeake (4-53) prospered with the new ball.
Bowled out for 279 with half an hour left in the day, the ACES fired up for a spell before stumps. It was time enough for Jamieson to strike a big blow with Tom Blundell fending a short ball into the legside.
The ACES will have to wait until Day Two for more success as Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway safely negotiated the remaining overs in the day.
Photo credit: PhotoSport NZ