The passage of time has not quenched Hamish Marshall’s thirst for runs although the Northern Knights veteran was usurped by a relative novice as the Auckland Aces paced themselves nicely to secure a Ford Trophy victory today.
Marshall was in the thick of the action in his team’s one-day match at Bay Oval in Mt Maunganui but ultimately it was Aces newcomer Brad Cachopa who was left to enjoy the spoils of victory after he posted a career best 91.
Marshall’s crafty 83 at the top of the innings was the glue which held the Knights together after they endured as poor start before scoring a respective 241.
The Aces ran down their target with six wickets and 12 balls to spare, successfully keeping wickets in hand until the latter stages after opener Cachopa proved his readiness to step up to this level by scoring a quality 91.
The 23-year-old struck six fours and three sixes and was on target to top three figures until allrounder Anton Devcich bowled him in the 41st over, four runs after Colin Munro departed for 32 to end their third wicket partnership of 71.
Cachopa’s removal after facing 117 balls left the middle order facing an asking rate of six an over from the get go, and the wise heads of Colin de Grandhomme and Gareth Hopkins were up to the challenge.
They collared the Knights for 31 runs in the 46th and 47th overs before crossing the line with de Grandhomme unbeaten on 38 off 26 balls, including three boundary clearances, and Hopkins 25 not out off 23.
Earlier, the Knights encountered immediate setbacks and Marshall, 32 now into his 14th season with the team, was at the non-striker’s end as his opening partner Brad Wilson and then his twin brother James fell to first ball ducks, both trapped in front by tall seamer Michael Bates.
It took a while for the home side to recover because at 44 for three and 71 for four the Aces held all the cards.
Hamish Marshall was pivotal to their rebuilding process as he faced 110 balls and hit five fours before being the sixth man out at 183 in the 41st over.
He had shared a stand of 83 for the fifth wicket with Daryl Mitchell, who impressed in his first innings at this level with a fine 48, scored off 76 balls and containing two fours and two sixes.
Hamish Marshall, who recently brought up his 2000th run for the association at domestic one-day level, fell 17 shy of just his second century in the competition when Bates caught him off seamer Andre Adams.
The latter momentum for the Knights came from Devcich, who struck a career best 55 not out off only 41 deliveries as he, too, clouted two fours and two sixes.
The Aces best with the ball were Adams, who took three for 35 off 10 overs, and Bates with three for 37 off 7.3.