The ACES were made to toil on Day One against the Wellington Firebirds, but honours are even after a full day’s play at the Outer Oval.
The day’s prospects looked rather different through the first 7.5 overs with Ross ter Braak tearing through the Firebirds top order.
The left-armer gave the ACES the perfect opening, with wicketkeeper Ben Horne taking a sharp one-handed catch diving low to his left.
An over later, Jakob Bhula’s mistimed pull fell to a scrambling Ryan Harrison at forward square leg. There was one moment left in ter Braak’s opening burst and that was to go through Luke Georgeson.
At 13/3, the ACES were well and truly on top. From there, Tom Blundell and Michael Bracewell slowly but surely rebuilt the Firebirds inning.
Blundell and Bracewell would not only see the Firebirds through to 89/3 at lunch, but also to 184/3 at tea. The Firebirds duo would eventually put on 217 for the fourth wicket, going blow for blow and both bringing up centuries in the lead up to the new ball.
Danru Ferns then hit back, first finding an outside edge of Bracewell (105) and then trapping Blundell in front (113). Ferns counterpunch with the new ball meant the ACES had two new players at the crease heading into the final hour of play.
The ACES had a sixth wicket when Will Somerville enticed Jamie Gibson (23) into one aggresive shot too many. The visitors will resume at 278/6 on Day Two.
Tomorrow’s first session will give both sides a clearer picture on who had a better Day One.