Another day in Invercargill. More frustrating rain and ground delays keeping the ACES from truly making headway on Moving Day.
Day Three started with another lost session before a stubborn partnership between Hamish Rutherford (63) and Mitch Renwick (49) added to the ACES frustration.
The ACES spin trio then made inroads through the afternoon. Louis Delport was first to strike when Rutherford swept to Will O’Donnell in the deep.
Cole Briggs then held on to a low catch at backward short-leg to give Will Somerville his second wicket. When Somerville helped Glenn Phillips strangle brother Dale at leg-slip, the ACES were on a roll.
The leg-before decision of Nick Kelly gave Phillips a second wicket and at 200/5, there was an opening for the ACES to run through the lower order.
A sixth-wicket stand between Michael Rippon (40*) and Max Chu (29*) kept the ACES at bay in the 18 overs before stumps.
With the Volts still halfway through their first innings, there will need to be some attacking cricket if either side are to force a result on Day Four.
The ACES have endured another frustrating day in Invercargill, waiting for conditions to be suitable for play.
A wet outfield again wiped out the first session and when play finally got underway just after 3.30 PM, Robbie O’Donnell brought up his third First-Class century with a well-timed push past mid-off.
Will Somerville (23) then became Michael Rae’s fourth wicket of the inning. O’Donnell, however, continued on 128 off 199 balls.
The skipper took a short breather after a mix-up ended his 308-minute stay at the crease, while Danru Ferns and Ollie Pringle lifted the ACES to 351/8 before the declaration came in the 96th over.
There was time enough for the ACES to make in-roads before stumps, but the bowlers were made to be patient.
The breakthrough eventually came at the end of the 16th over, when Somerville trapped Anaru Kitchen in front for 13.
Moving day looms and the ACES will be hopeful of an on-time start to push their chances of victory.
A wet outfield forced the toss to be delayed at Queen’s Park with play starting at 1.15 PM.
If the ACES had any frustration about losing another Plunket Shield session, Phillips was quick to make up for lost time when he can to the crease in the 9th over.
The ACES No. 3 took a particular liking to Michael Rae early on, hitting his first five fours off the Volts’ opening bowler. Phillips didn’t stop there, racing out to a 38-ball fifty.
Phillips continued on and threatened to score a rare hundred in the first session of the match, only to be caught in the deep on 92 off 64 balls. The knock included 11 fours and 5 sixes and drove the ACES into the box seat at 148/3 at tea.
Skipper Robbie O’Donnell took up the responsibility ahead of an afternoon of batting. Together with debutant Cole Briggs, the pair put on 91 for the fourth wicket. It was an important stand for the ACES to ensure maximum batting bonus points remained on the cards.
Briggs (30) battled through to 95 balls before his first Plunket Shield knock came to an end, with fellow debutant Angus McKenzie picking up his maiden First-Class wicket.
The wickets of Ben Horne and Ross ter Braak will give the Volts a lift heading into Day Two, while O’Donnell will return to the crease on 92* when play resumes in Invercargill.