01 Jul, Friday

Late wickets add to ACES advantage


Late wickets add to ACES advantage

Praneel HiraAces

The ACES have piled on the runs on Day Two of their Plunket Shield encounter with the Otago Volts at the Eden Park Outer Oval.

Play resumed with the ACES in firm control at 176/1 with Martin Guptill and Glenn Phillips at the crease. Guptill (110) had added just a single to his overnight score when Jacob Duffy got one to straighten down the line and clip the top of the centurion’s off stump.

Phillips, who started the day on 34, powered on after a brief rain delay as he combined with Mark Chapman (52) for a third-wicket stand of 116. The right-hander wasn’t afraid to take on the short ball on Day One and the second chapter of his innings proved no different.

In between hooks and pulls were dominant drives as 12 fours and 5 sixes took Phillips to a 5th First Class century. Like Guptill, shortly after raising his bat, Phillips (102) was undone by a delivery that nipped away. This time Nathan Smith, who was left frustrated at the end of Day One, was the wicket-taker.

Chapman continued his recent run of good form with a patient fifty before Robbie O’Donnell and Ben Horne had some fun. With the ACES 331 runs to the good, Horne again showed his penchant for the offside. When the bowlers erred towards Horne’s legs, his powerful sweep came into play. 10 fours and a six later, Horne had to go for an entertaining 67 off 65 balls.

At the other end, O’Donnell kept the Volts at bay. The ACES’ skipper used the pace of the bowlers to find gaps in the field, hitting 6 fours and a six on his way to an unbeaten 61. All that was left before an ACES’ declaration was allrounder Matt McEwan (27*) blasting three leg-side sixes as the ACES piled on 467/6.

With 22 overs left in the day, skipper O’Donnell decided it was time for his bowlers to charge in. What a decision it proved to be as the ACES made early inroads. Lockie Ferguson strangled Cam Hawkins down the leg-side from around the wicket before McEwan outlasted Anaru Kitchen.

The ACES will have been pleased with a couple of wickets but Louis Delport had other ideas. The left-arm spinner nabbed both Dean Foxcroft and Neil Broom late on. Extra bounce found Foxcroft’s outside edge, while considerable turn accounted for Broom, who was bowled by a delivery that straightened down the line of off-stump.

The Volts will resume their first innings at 59/4 on Day Three, trailing the ACES by 408 runs.