Houpapa leads Aces to victory

State Auckland Aces rookie Dave Houpapa posted a maiden State Shield century to hand State Wellington Firebirds a second consecutive limited-overs defeat.

Houpapa struck 101 off just 89 balls at the Westpac Stadium to give the Aces 245 to defend.

Wellington stayed in contention with a fine double by State Wellington Firebirds all-rounder Grant Elliot.

The South African took four for 29 before putting on a half-century, with 50s for Matthew Bell and Neal Parlane (50) also pushing up the hosts’ total.

But Auckland kept the Firebirds 237 for seven in their 50 overs to complete an 10-run win.

Lou Vincent had returned to form with 48, with all-rounder Houpapa picking up the baton for his first Aces hundred.

Elliot led the Wellington attack and assisted in the run out of Roneel Hira (one) as the Aces were dismissed with two overs to spare.

Bell struck his first limited-overs 50 of the campaign before Elliot (53) and Duwayne Bowden (25) put on a 78-run stand.

But Elliot’s dismissal, stumped off Paul Hitchcock’s bowling, removed the impetus and left the home team stranded adrift of their target.

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