A massive unbeaten 241 run partnership between Richard Jones and Reece Young guided Auckland to a seven wicket win after the Canterbury Wizards set them a huge 337 to win.
It was a shaky start by to the run chase with Jeet Raval (8) and Andrew de Boorder (4) out last yesterday and night watchman Gareth Shaw (21) early this morning.
Young joined Aces stalwart Jones at the crease at 96 or three with the pair hitting bit tons to seal the win.
Jones, who made 89 in the first innings, was the top scorer with a 170 not out. He carried his bat through the innings and cracked 22 fours in what was his 19th First Class century.
Young hit 126 in his fifth ton for Auckland including 18 boundaries and a six.
The defending champions finished the Plunket Shield competition with back to back victories in an otherwise disappointing campaign.
The Canterbury Wizards were competitive throughout and went into this match with a slim chance of winning the Plunket Shield, finishing the season in second spot.
Day 3: AUCKLAND ACES require 290 runs to win with 8 wickets
Michael Papps has led the Canterbury Wizards to a huge second inning total on day three of their match against the Auckland Aces.
The Wizard’s opener has maintained his rich vein of form hitting 180 that was studded with 30 boundaries, to back up the 104 he made in the first innings. It capped an excellent match for Papps who overtook Paul McEwan as Canterbury’s most prolific run scorer when he hit his first 22 runs of the first innings.
Starting the day on 138 for one Papps and Johannes Myburgh took the score through to 217 before Myburgh departed for 86.
Papps then combined with captain Peter Fulton for a 168 runs stand with Fulton falling five short of a century.
A couple of middling scores followed with Dean Brownlie hitting 39 and Todd Astle belting a quick 22 before the Wizards were all out for 485, leaving the Aces a challenging target of 337.
Aces fast bowler Richard Sherlock was the stand out bowler taking career best figures of seven for 133 - the second best figures of the 2009/10 season.
Michael Vermeulen then got Canterbury off to a great start when he snared Jeet Raval (8) and Andrew de Boorder (4) before the close of play to leave the Aces in a precarious 47 for two.
Day 2: Canterbury Wizards trail by 11 runs with 9 wickets in hand
The Auckland Aces surged past the Canterbury Wizards first innings total and added a further 149 before being all out for 352.
Andrew de Booder scored the bulk of the runs today with a fine 91 and was well supported by Anaru Kitchen who hit 62.
The pair put on 102 for the sixth wicket to put the Aces in a commanding postion.
Wizards spinner Todd Astle was again in fine form, taking career best figures of six for 103. It is Astle’s third consecutive five wicket bag after taking 5 for 188 in their last match against Wellington and five for 55 against Otago the round before.
Rob Nicol was the only casualty for Canterbury in their second dig, bowled by Gareth Shaw for 28 in a rain interrupted afternoon.
First innings centurion Michael Papps is looking solid on 62 not out and will resume tomorrow with Johannes Myburgh who has 45 with the Wizards on 138 for one but still training the Aces by 11 runs.
Day 1: Auckland Aces trail by 18 runs with 6 wickets in hand
Michael Bates ripped through the Canterbury Wizards line up before a Richard Jones half century put the Auckland Aces on top at the end of day one in the Plunket Shield match at Colin Maiden Park in Auckland.
The Wizards will be disappointed to only post 203 after a 130 run partnership for the second between Michael Papps and Peter Fulton had them in a strong position at 145 for one.
Papps blazed his way to 104 with this 19th First Class ton coming off just 101 delivers with his bat raised before lunch.
When Papps went four balls into the middle session the wheels fell off the Wizards innings with their last nine wickets falling for just 58 runs.
The Aces left arm strike bowler took career best figures of six for 55, beating the five for 71 Bates took against the Central Stags in his last match. Young spinner Bhupinder Singh was also deadly and economical taking three for six.
Bates has been in devastating form this season and hence has a stranglehold on the overall MVP title.
Jones and Jeet Raval got the home team off to a sturdy reply with a 122 run opening stand before Raval departed for 49. Jones was next to go but not before he put his team in control with a fluent 89.
The Wizards fought back with the late wickets of Reece Young (9) and Gareth Hopkins (10) but the Aces are firmly on top. Andrew de Boorder will resume tomorrow on 24 with the Aces just 18 runs short of the Wizards first innings score.
In form spinner Todd Astle was Canterbury’s best with two for 41 including the prize wicket of Hopkins.
* Image of Michael Bates bowling