Aces secure home playoff

Aces secure home playoff

Auckland Aces 302-7 (Colin de Grandhomme 84, Tim McIntosh 73, Jeetan Patel 2-44) beat the Tulsi Wellington Firebirds 297-9 (Stephen Murdoch 77, James Franklin 55, Stephen Murdoch 43, Colin de Grandhomme 4-48) by five runs 

The Auckland Aces will host the Tulsi Wellington Firebirds in the 3v4 final this Sunday, after beating the same side by five runs in a thrilling match at Hawkins Basin Reserve. 

Having opted to bat first the Aces finished with 302 for seven in their 50 overs, with Colin de Grandhomme’s 84 their top score. He played a huge roll with the ball as well, taking four wickets and bowling a tight final over to restrict the Firebirds to 297 for nine. 

Earlier on there were contributions from throughout the Aces innings, with the opening pair of Tim McIntosh (73) and Anaru Kitchen (40) getting the visitors off to a rollicking start. 

The 150 mark was brought up for the Aces in the 29th over and they continued to add to that predominantly through Colin de Grandhomme. The 27-year-old peppered the boundary in his 53 ball knock, crushing nine fours and three sixes to see his side past the 300 mark.

The wickets were shared amongst the Firebirds bowlers, though Jeetan Patel was the most effective with two for 44 from ten overs. 

The Firebirds response had them on track early in the piece, with all of the top six making starts, including half-centuries to Stephen Murdoch (77) and James Franklin (55).

At 277 for four the game looked in the bag for Firebirds, but Franklin’s dismissal in the 46th over led to a collapse and the hosts couldn’t recover. Needing 11 from the final over, Aces held them to just five, with de Grandhomme helping his side secure third place.

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