It took nine rounds, but the patience paid off with Team Auckland securing double delight over the Volts and Sparks at the Outer Oval today.
ACES vs. Volts | ACES won by 103 runs
Sean Solia got the day started in a hurry, hitting 4 fours and a six through the first three overs. The opener’s 27 off 15 balls not only represented the ACES intent but also how the rest of the innings would unfold with contributions throughout.
After Glenn Phillips fell for a quickfire 20, Will O’Donnell (40) and Mark Chapman (36) put together the ACES best partnership of 63. Despite losing wickets towards the end of the inning, the third-wicket stand set up a big finish as Robbie O’Donnell (21) and Kyle Jamieson (21*) helped lift the ACES to 183/7.
For the Volts, Mitchell McClenaghan and Nathan Smith both bagged two wickets apiece. As a reflection of the combined effort, all of the top seven ACES batsmen hit a six.
Nick Kelly (38) threatened to keep the Volts in the contest but had no support from his middle-order colleagues. A big part of that was down to the pressure applied by the ACES attack; all five bowlers picked up wickets as the Volts were skittled for 80 in the 13th over.
Jamieson finished with stellar figures of 3-18, while ter Braak struck twice in his two overs. There was also success for Will Somerville, adding two wickets to his Super Smash tally as the ACES sealed a mammoth 103-run win.
HEARTS vs. Sparks | HEARTS won by 27 runs
The HEARTS hopes of direct entry into the Grand Final are still alive after a nervy victory over the Sparks.
Batting first, it looked like business as usual when Anna Peterson (31) took 10 runs from the first over. The HEARTS then raced out to 49/1 at the end of the powerplay and a big total was in prospect.
Katie Perkins (23) and Peterson fell soon after and the HEARTS needed a steadying partnership. It came in Holly Huddleston and Bella Armstrong, but further trouble lay ahead as Emma Black (4-14) led a Sparks resurgence.
Huddleston’s two sixes in 15th over gave the innings some momentum, only for a steady stream of wickets seeing the HEARTS bowled out for 123, 11 balls shy of the full 20 overs.
Early wickets were a must and Huddleston delivered in the second over. Katey Martin, however, was going to hold the key for the Sparks and the wicketkeeper kept her side afloat.
With an injury to Peterson, Fran Jonas was called upon to bowl the difficult sixth over and the youngster reeled in the wicket of Bella James. Just as a partnership between Martin and Millie Cowan was getting going, Arlene Kelly and Tariel Lamb combined to catch Cowan short of her ground as the Sparks pair attempted a third run.
The match then turned in the HEARTS favour. Peterson returned to the field and built on the pressure applied by Jonas (2-21), Armstrong and Jesse Prasad. Regular wickets, including a second run-out, put further onus on Martin, who eventually fell to a fine sliding catch by Regina Lilii coming off the mid-wicket boundary.
Late wickets to Peterson (3-23) and Huddleston (2-8) helped close out the 27-run victory as the HEARTS picked up their Super Smash victory of the season.