The Auckland Aces have beaten the Wellington Firebirds by five wickets in their HRV Cup match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The Firebirds posted 116 in the first innings, before the Aces successfully chased down the target after 17.1 overs.
Their pursuit began with an opening partnership of 65 between Lou Vincent and Australian import Brad Hodge. Vincent in particular showed aggression, clubbing 15 off Shaun Tait in the second over.
The Firebirds first break-through came in the eighth over when Hodge top-edged one on 22. They went on to claim another four wickets, including the prized one of Lou Vincent.
The result though was never in jeopardy, as Colin de Grandhomme (6) and Craig Cachopa (5) saw the match out for the points.
Earlier, the Aces had applied consistent pressure on the Firebirds’ batting line-up with some excellent bowling.
Having hit consecutive boundaries in the opening over, Ryder was the second wicket to fall when he guided one to Dusan Hakaraia in the third over on nine. His dismissal triggered somewhat of a collapse as the Firebirds were reduced to 33 for four.
Mitchell McClenaghan was the main contributor early on, picking up the wickets of Ryder and Michael Papps. It didn’t improve for the Firebirds, who failed to establish a successful partnership.
The best of the individual performances came from another Australian import in Cameron Borgas. The 29 year-old hit five fours and two sixes in a well-made 50, before being dismissed the very next ball by McClenaghan.
Scott Kuggeleijn was the only other batsman to cause the Aces’ bowlers any problems with a useful cameo of 24 from 21 balls. Alongside Borgas, it was enough to see the Firebird past 100.
Andy McKay chipped in with five at the end, before being run-out off the last ball of the innings to see the home side all out for 116.
Hodge was both efficient and efficient with the ball and claimed figures of three for 16 from four overs. McClenaghan too took three wickets with his four overs going for 18.
The next HRV Cup match is next Friday night between the Northern Knights and Central Stags.