The Ford Trophy domestic One-Day competition starts with three games at the Hawkins Basin Reserve this week, with the Wellington Firebirds hosting the Otago Volts on Tuesday, the Central Stags on Thursday and the Auckland Aces on Sunday.Updated:
The Firebirds beat the Otago Volts by 6 wickets on Tuesday and missed out to the Central Stags by just 10 runs on Thursday.
The undoubted star of the first two matches was Firebirds opener Michael Papps who, in consecutive innings, hit the two highest domestic One-Day scores by a Wellington batsmen ever. On Tuesday he hit 162 not out and on Thursday he struck 154.
Cricket Wellington Director of Cricket Robbie Kerr said the Firebirds are looking forward to the Ford Trophy getting underway this week at the Basin. “Following on from a series of good performances in the HRV Cup Twenty20 competition over Christmas and New Year, the Firebirds are very motivated for a successful One-Day campaign.”
“We’re pleased to welcome back a core group of experienced players into the team this week,“ Kerr added. “Jesse Ryder is raring to go again after his short injury break. James Franklin and Grant Elliott are both returning from the Blackcaps One-Day squad to bolster the Firebirds.”
Off-spinner Jeetan Patel and strike bowler Mark Gillespie will miss the first three matches on Tuesday against the Volts, Thursday against the Stags and Sunday against the Auckland Aces as they are playing for the New Zealand XI side against England in Queenstown this week.
Wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi, originally selected as captain of the New Zealand XI, suffered a hamstring injury in the recent Plunket Shield win over the Volts and will miss the start of the Ford Trophy series.
Tom Blundell will keep wicket in Ronchi’s absence against the Volts and will make his domestic limited overs debut. If selected to play, seam bowler Tipene Friday will also make his domestic 50-overs debut this week.
Tuesday’s match against the HRV Cup champions the Otago Volts, Thursday’s game against the newly crowned Plunket Shield winners the Central Stags and Sunday's encounter against the Aces, are the first three matches of a eight round-robin 50-over competition leading into the Preliminary Finals series starting on 24 March.
The Firebirds’ Ford Trophy round-robin schedule is (all games start at 11.00 am):Tuesday 26 February v Otago Volts, Hawkins Basin Reserve
Thursday 28 February v Central Stags, Hawkins Basin Reserve
Sunday 3 March v Auckland Aces, Hawkins Basin Reserve
Wednesday 6 March v Otago Volts, Invercargill
Saturday 9 March v Auckland Aces, Auckland
Wednesday 13 March v Canterbury Wizards, Christchurch
Sunday 17 March v Central Stags, New PlymouthWednesday 20 March v Northern Knights, Hawkins Basin Reserve
Match and ticketing information Tuesday, Thursday and SundayWhat:
Ford Trophy One-Day competition rounds one, two and threeWho
:Wellington Firebirds v Otago Volts, Wellington Firebirds v Central Stags and Wellington Firebirds v Auckland AcesWhere
: Hawkins Basin ReserveWhen:
v Otago Volts on Tuesday; v Central Stags on Thursday; v Auckland Aces on SundayTickets:
$10 adult / $5 child. Tickets available at the gate. Gates open 10.00am for start times of 11.00 am.