Aces denied by weather

State Auckland Aces’ slim chances of reaching the State Championship final floundered after heavy rain in Dunedin wiped out their final round-robin game against State Otago Volts.

Bad weather had blighted the game at the University Oval and scuppered any chance of a result. A draw was confirmed when the match was ended at lunch on day four after no play in the morning session.

Auckland required a maximum-point victory to qualify, but settled for first-innings points having dismissed Otago for 199 on the third day.

On his First-Class debut for the Aces, one-day specialist Mayu Pasupati struck an unbeaten 76 and took four wickets.

Otago’s James McMillan took six wickets in the match.

The result leaves State Northern Knights, State Wellington Firebirds and State Canterbury Wizards battling for two positions in the final.

The Knights, the tournament leaders, stood at 95 for five at lunch against a Wellington team defending 314 to earn vital first innings points.

At Napier, Canterbury had taken two points from their game, having declared on 462 for eight having surpassed State Central Stags’ 460. The CD second innings stood at 15 for one at lunch.

After a weather-affected week across the country, ND's four-point lead should be enough earn them hosting rights in next week's final.

The Firebirds are seeking to emulate Canterbury's result to confirm their place in the showpiece.

Auckland finish the First-Class season in fourth place, having won both the State Shield and Twenty20 titles.

Otago, beaten finalists in both limited-overs tournaments, finish in sixth and last place in the State Championship.


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