Aces edge out Firebirds

The State Auckland Aces have moved to the top of the table after beating the State Wellington Firebirds in their State Twenty20 match at Eden Park’s Outer Oval.

Wellington’s modest total of 128 for seven was overhauled when Auckland number ten batsman Azhar Abbas hit a six off the penultimate ball.

Captain Richard Jones was steady at the top hitting 32 off 37 with Colin de Grandhomme at the other end smashing and aggressive 26 off 13. 

Big Hitting Luke Vivian played a cameo striking 22 off 16 with the tail scratching together small scores to get the Aces across the line.

Wellington’s English import Graham Napier extended his lead at the top of the MVP table by taking three for 29 with Jeetan Patel taking two for 22.

Earlier the Firebird’s batsmen struggled and at one stage were 60 for seven until Matthew Bell and Luke Woodcock combined to put on 68 for the eighth wicket.

Bell, batting at number eight, hit 42 off 32 with Woodcock making 25 off 23.

Azhar Abbas and Rob Nicol were the best of the Aces attack with two for 24 and two for 25 respectively.

It is the Auckland Aces fourth win from five matches and sees them share the top of the table with the Otago Volts. 

The Wellington Firebirds have three wins and are sitting third overall.

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