Parikh & Grobbelaar shine as Aces pull up just short

The Auckland Aces have lost by a solitary run to the Queensland Bulls in their pre-season hit out at the Gold Coast Cricket Club today.

In a fixture that has a history of close results – last year was a tie – the Aces lost the coin toss and were asked to bowl first in hot and sunny conditions.

A tight, controlled opening spell from Donovan Grobbelaar and Danru Ferns helped the visitors gain the early ascendancy before Raja Sandhu took the prized scalp of Usman Khawaja courtesy of a stunning grab at point from Glenn Phillips.

Michael Barry was also solid with the ball picking up a couple of wickets in the middle overs before off spinner Aniket Parikh took over.

Parikh managed four wickets with his full bag of tricks on display, managing to stunt the free scoring Bull’s middle order.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the Bull’s tail wagged meaning they batted out the full 50 overs to post 277.

Coming out to chase and the Aces started in a positive fashion with Michael Guptill-Bunce and Glenn Phillips ticking things over nicely.

The middle order managed starts but didn’t kick on, the Aces managing to stick with the run-rate while losing consistent wickets.

Returning Ace Craig Cachopa (46) along with Ben Horne put on 50 runs together as the visitors edged toward the Queensland total, while Grobbelaar (55*) proved his all-round ability with some clean striking in the later overs.

The match ended up with the Aces needing 20 off the final two overs and while Grobbelaar was able to strike a couple of lusty blows, the visitors pulled up an agonising one run short off the target.

The Aces now head back to training before returning to action on Sunday against the Scotland national team.

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