Firebirds fall eight runs short

Wellington Firebirds were left ruing an unfortunate run out of skipper Grant Elliott after they lost a second round men's domestic one-day championship cricket match by eight runs to Auckland Aces.

Chasing an imposing 308, Wellington looked to be down and out when they lost two wickets with just five runs on the board.

They were 43 for three when Neil Parlane gave Colin Munro a catch off Kyle Mills but James Franklin joined Elliott at the crease to put on a breezy 112 runs for the fourth wicket off 115 balls.

Elliott was on a well-paced 73 when Lou Vincent ran him out with a direct hit of the stumps.

Some lusty hitting by Harry Boam, 59 off 36 balls, Daniel Bowden 23 not out off 17 and Jeetan Patel, 13 not out off seven deliveries, took Wellington within sight of their target but they ran out of overs.

Earlier, Auckland's score was driven by wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins who hit eight fours and two sixes on the way to an electrifying 120 off 96 balls.

He fell to a catch by Daniel Bowden off an Elliott delivery in the 48th over after featuring in two heavy partnerships of 106 for the third wicket with Anaru Kitchen who scored 52 and another 72 runs for the sixth wicket with Mills who contributed 34.

It was Hopkins' second one-day hundred in 168 matches.

NZPA

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