26 Jun, Sunday

Disappointing Day One leaves ACES with work to do

Club Cricket

Disappointing Day One leaves ACES with work to do

Praneel HiraClub Cricket

The ACES’ Plunket Shield hopes took a hit on Day One against the Wellington Firebirds at Colin Maiden Park.

After winning the toss and batting first, the ACES will be disappointed to have been bowled out by tea.

Jeet Raval (26) and Glenn Phillips (31) ground out the first hour after Iain McPeake enticed Will O’Donnell into an early drive. The pair took their time in adding 52 for the second wicket, but the visitors stuck to their task.

The Firebirds’ bowlers gave little away, testing the ACES through the opening session. Jamie Gibson charged in for an extended spell from the Merton Road end, while Michael Snedden started tidily at the other.

In the lead up to lunch, Snedden (3-42) found the outside edge of a driving Raval before Gibson trapped Phillips dead in front.

The visitors maintained the pressure after a brief shower forced an early lunch and the ACES slipped from 81/3 to 126/9. Sean Solia saw most of the damage from the non-strikers end before deciding to counterattack.

The left-hander brought up his 11th First-Class fifty from 68 balls, and with the help of Jamie Brown, added 53 for the tenth-wicket.

Early wickets were a must for the ACES and it took just four balls from Danru Ferns to deliver when Jakob Bhula chipped a full delivery to short mid-wicket.

It was to be the only moment of joy for the ACES as Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra built patiently. The showers threatened throughout the late afternoon as skipper Robbie O’Donnell threw the ball around his bowlers.

With the second-wicket partnership unbeaten on 123, Conway (64*) will have eyes on another hundred, while Ravindra will resume his knock one shy of a fifty on Day Two.