Aces prosper over Knights

Bruce Martin led the charge as the Auckland Aces cruised to a ten wicket victory over the Northern Knights at Eden Park Outer Oval in Auckland.

The Knights could only manage to post a target of 13 runs, having fallen 185 runs behind the Aces in the first innings. The home side didn’t miss a beat in completing the task, hitting the winning runs after just eight balls.

Despite limiting the Aces to just 27 runs for the last three wickets, the Knights struggled to build a total to take them past the deficit they faced. In the end a 46 run tenth wicket stand gave them the lead, but it was never going to be sustainable.

Yesterday’s centurion Bruce Martin was dismissed for 114 early on in the morning, as the Aces finished 392 all out. Although a touch disappointed to not reach 400, it only brought about their overall success faster.

Openers Joseph Yovich and Brad Wilson toiled hard for the Knights to reach 54 without loss in reply, before Wilson was caught on 20. Matters compounded when James Marshall fell for six, starting a trend of wickets going regularly.

It was Martin who stamped his mark on the game once more, leading the wicket tally with three scalps. It left him with match figures of seven for 106 – his 17th First-Class five wicket bag.

At 150 for nine the Knights looked likely to be heading for an innings loss, but Arnel (24) and Baker (16) showed some resilience and took their side past the target – albeit only just.

Colin de Grandhomme trapped Arnel lbw to give his side the chance to close out the match a day early.  A six and a four in the first over from Lou Vincent more or less guaranteed the result, before Tim McIntosh hit the winning runs with a boundary.

It was a commanding performance from the Aces, which puts them into third on the Plunket Shield Points Table.

Their next Four-Day match is against the Wellington Firebirds on November 26. 

Day two: Aces maintain control

Lower order belligerence from Craig Cachopa and Bruce Martin has strengthened the Auckland Aces position on day two of the Plunket Shield fixture against the Northern Knights at Eden Park Outer Oval.

The hosts closed the day on 365 for seven to give them a 157 run lead after after yesterday bowling out the Northern Knights for 208.

Martin deserved most of the plaudits for the way he wrestled back the momentum from the Knights after the top order failed to fire.

Coming to the wicket at 150 for six he struck a marvellous 107 and he isn’t done yet.  The Auckland spinner will resume tomorrow along with Michael Bates who helped bat out the last ten overs of the day.

Cachopa also impressed with 82 and along with Martin put on 168 for the seventh wicket.

English import Adam Wheater had a busy morning behind the stumps with the top four Auckland batsmen all caught behind.  The first went to Graeme Aldridge who had Lou Vincent for 26 before Corey Anderson picked Tim McIntosh for 27 and Reece Young for 14.

Some resistance was shown by Colin de Grandhomme who hit 45 before he was nicked off by James Baker while Gareth Hopkins made five before he went to Brent Arnel.

Spinner Ish Sodhi collected the last two wickets of the day, first knocking over Colin Munro for 27 before breaking the large partnership by having Cachopa caught out.

Day 1: Bowlers put Auckland in strong position

Ball dominated the bat on day one of the Plunket Shield match between the Northern Knight and Auckland Aces at Eden Park Outer Oval.

A superb bowling performance from Auckland had Northern dismissed for 208 in 82.1 overs and the openers safely got through the remaining 14 overs to seize control of the match.

Opener Joseph Yovich, got the only score of note for the visitors, bringing up his fifth First-Class century but had to watch his teammates keep falling at the other end, denying them a chance to push on to a position of strength.

The 35 year-old left-hander, who faced 252 balls and hit 16 boundaries, made a valiant 106 before he was eventually the ninth wicket to fall.

Captain James Marshall struck 24 while the next best was Brad Wilson with 14.

Spinner Bruce Martin was the best of the Auckland attack, picking up two middle order wickets before helping mop up the tail to finish with figures of four for 43. 

Colin de Grandhomme snared two for 23 while Michael Bates picked up two for 29, including the wicket of century-maker Yovich.

Auckland openers Tim McIntosh (14*) and Lou Vincent (25*) will resume tomorrow on 40 without loss.

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