26 May, Thursday

Solia leads ACES in Super Smash thriller


Solia leads ACES in Super Smash thriller

Praneel HiraFeatured

ACES vs. Volts | ACES won by one wicket

An all-round effort with the ball saw the ACES dismiss the Volts for a sub-par 130. But that wasn’t the end of the story.

Two wickets apiece to Ben Lister, Lockie Ferguson, Will Somerville, Adithya Ashok and Glenn Phillips dragged the Volts bag from a flying start by Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom.

58/1 quickly became 106/7 as the ACES spinners took a stranglehold of the Volts middle order.

Chasing 131, George Worker signalled his intent hitting a pair of boundaries in the first over. Then the ACES lost five wickets in eight balls as Anaru Kitchen and Jacob Duffy (3-30) got their tails up. When skipper Robbie O’Donnell was beaten by a peach of a Michael Rippon wrong’n, the ACES were staring down the barrel of the wrong side of the record books at 26/6.

With the run-rate manageable throughout, the ACES simply needed a partnership.

Enter Sean Solia; joined by Will Somerville (25), the pair put on a record 77 runs for the seventh wicket – the new benchmark for Auckland. The big over came in the 13th, when Solia hit 3 fours and a monstrous six off Rippon. The game, however, turned again when Kitchen (4-11) struck for a fourth time.

Enter Lockie Ferguson. Though the speedster’s knock may have lasted just the five balls, his 15 off 5 left the ACES needing 11 from the final 12 balls.

By now, Solia (67*) had brought up his third List-A fifty. Ashok flicked his first ball to the mid-wicket boundary for four, but when he was caught in the deep in the final over the ACES were down to their last wicket. To the relief of the crowd, Lister hooked his first ball to the fine-leg boundary and the ACES won by a solitary wicket in one of the most extraordinary Super Smash matches.

HEARTS vs. Sparks | Sparks won by ten wickets.

Earlier, the HEARTS suffered a ten-wicket defeat to the surging Sparks.

Batting first, openers Lauren Down and Katie Perkins (23), in her 100th T20 for the HEARTS, took their side out to 59/0 in tenth over. Along the way, when Perkins was on 7, the HEARTS history-maker surpassed 2000 T20 runs for Auckland.

It would be the only significant stand of the HEARTS inning, however, as the innings faltered after Lauren Down’s 49 off 40 balls.

The Sparks bowlers stuck to their tasks and regular wickets made it difficult for the HEARTS to seize the momentum of the game. Only one boundary came in the second half of the innings as the hosts’ post 106/6.

Defending 107, wickets were a must. A tidy start built some pressure, only for Polly Inglis (61*) and Susie Bates (40*) to find ways to release it. The pair weaved in and out brilliantly on their way to a commanding ten-wicket win.

The result leaves the HEARTS fighting for third place with the Blaze and Sparks now booked in for the Finals series.