Raval delights as Aces reach Ford Trophy Final

The Auckland Aces have produced a dominant display against Canterbury to book a spot in the Ford Trophy Final against Central Districts on Saturday at Pukekura Park.

Aces Captain Craig Cachopa won the toss and elected to bat first.

Despite losing Glenn Phillips (11) early on, Jeet Raval (149) and Sean Solia (28) kept the runs flowing for the Aces putting on 82 for the 2nd wicket.

Raval was in great touch for the Aces rotating the strike bringing up his half-century in quick time.

Craig Cachopa (37) came to the crease and continued the good work of the top order combining with Raval to take the Aces to 189/3 to set his side up for a big score.

Raval was simply unstoppable carting the bowlers to all parts of the ground, including a crazy moment when he slapped the ball back at bowler Andrew Ellis with the ball deflecting off his head for six!

Robbie O’Donnell (40) joined Raval in the later part of the innings, the pair turning the screws adding 87 off just 60 balls to bring the Aces closer to 300.

Raval’s excellent knock eventually coming to an end in the 48th over finishing on 149, his innings including 10 boundaries and four maximums.

The Aces finishing their innings 304/6, leaving Canterbury with a mountain to climb.

Michael Pollard (47) and Michael Davidson (25) got the visitor’s chase off to the ideal start putting on 69 runs at over a run a ball to keep their side on track.

Sean Solia (2-25) and Jamie Brown (1-20) had other ideas.

Solia picking up Davidson before Brown bounced out the in-form Henry Nicholls for a duck to bring the Aces right back into the contest.

Solia continuing the good work picking up the dangerous Pollard to leave the match on a knife’s edge at 87/3.

Tom Latham (29) and Todd Astle (42) steadied the ship for the visitors putting on 51 runs for the fourth wicket.

Glenn Phillips (1-23) came into the attack and promptly dismissed Latham with his part-time tweakers to put the Aces in the driver’s seat.

Tarun Nethula (4-43) took command of the contest ripping through Canterbury’s lower order, the visitors collapsing to 197 all out, leaving the Aces with a 107 run win and a spot in the final.

For a full scorecard from this fixture click here