26 Jun, Sunday

Phillips ton not quite enough for ACES


Phillips ton not quite enough for ACES

Praneel HiraAces

Neil Broom’s 93 trumped Glenn Phillips’ third T20 hundred as the Auckland ACES suffered a narrow Dream11 Super Smash loss to the Otago Volts.

The ACES’ first T20 of the summer was dominated by the bat as Hamish Rutherford raced out of the gate. The left-hander brought up a 21-ball fifty in the 7th over, before Somerville picked up the first Volts’ wicket. Rutherford’s electric fifty and the Volt’s opening stand ended when his gentle push reached Martin Guptill at deep cover.

Three wickets in three overs to Ronnie Hira, Mitchell McClenaghan and Sean Solia allowed the ACES to pull the run-rate back, but Broom loomed large towards the death overs.

Volts’ allrounder Dean Foxcroft gave Broom a second wind and the pair hit 55 off 28 balls. McClenaghan started the final over with a perfect yorker and, on 93, Broom couldn’t keep it out. Foxcroft (36) gave himself some room late on, hitting his second six as the Volts finished with 73 runs from the final five overs.

Guptill lit up the opening overs of the reply, hitting three sixes over the leg-side boundary, including two into the neighbouring Mobil station. The ACES lost Colin Munro early on to Nathan Smith’s slower bouncer, but it didn’t stifle Guptill’s charge.

Glenn Phillips joined the fun as the Volts’ total never truly looked out of reach. When Guptill mistimed Jacob Duffy’s low full-toss, Phillips rose to the challenge.

While the ACES remained in touching distance, Michael Rippon’s four-over spell turned the match in Otago’s favour. The left-arm spinner nabbed the key wickets of Mark Chapman and Craig Cachopa in successive overs.

The ACES were still a chance with Phillips at the crease and batting brilliantly. The 23-year old smeared Michael Rae over cover for six to go past fifty off 25 balls. Two pulled sixes followed as 24 runs came from the 15th over.

The momentum was with the home side. Foxcroft then snuck in a tight over, conceding just eight runs. The equation read 50 off 24 as the Volts’ bowlers frustrated the ACES. Phillips continued to find the fence as the overs ran away.

Needing 23 from the final over, Phillips tried his best to swing the match one final time. The ACES wicketkeeper took two down the ground to bring up his hundred, but Duffy held his nerve to give his side an opening day victory by 13 runs.

The ACES now hit the road for four away games, starting with the Kings on Tuesday.