Raval and O’Donnell impress despite delays

The Auckland Aces put on 166 runs for 3 wickets against the Wellington Firebirds with most of day two being lost to rain. They finished the day at 230/5, trailing Wellington by 25.

Jeet Raval came out during the eight overs that weren’t washed out of the morning session to score his 50 before he and Matt McEwan went back inside to wait out the weather.

McEwan was an early casualty after tea, mistiming a pull shot off Iain McPeake to be dismissed for 15 off 39 balls. That brought Robbie O’Donnell to the crease to join Raval.

Together the two batsmen saw off most of the attack in the marathon three-and-a-half-hour final session, playing with patience and discipline.

Raval spent several overs on 87, batting warily against Logan van Beek. The run rate was then picked up by O’Donnell.

Things started to happen in quick succession during the last hour of play. First O’Donnell brought up his 50 off 126 balls, and then with the next brought up the 100-run partnership with Raval.

Not to be outdone, Raval scored his century in the next over with a sweetly timed cut shot for 4.

Unfortunately, in the next over he was dismissed for 102 – Devon Conway taking a juggling catch at short leg off the bowling of Jeetan Patel.

Graeme Beghin, making his first-class debut, joined O’Donnell in the middle with more than 10 overs still left in the day. Together they proceeded cautiously towards the close of play.

The Firebirds took the new ball with two overs to go, and Hamish Bennett struck immediately. O’Donnell was caught second slip for 73 off 165.

Will Somerville joined Beghin to see out the last 10 balls, and will continue tomorrow on 0 and 18 respectively.

Full scorecard here.

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