A fine bowling display by the Auckland Aces has left the Wizards defending a small total at Eden Park No. 2 in the Ford Trophy Final.
Rob Nicol was run out in the cruellest, fashion, when a thunderous Peter Fulton straight drive brushed Colin De Grandhomme's hand and hit the stumps at the non striker's end. Despite being only a step or two out of his crease, Nicol was on his way, and it was the start of a collapse from which the visitors never really recovered.
The Aces' Michael Bates nabbed the prize wickets of BLACKCAPS stars Peter Fulton, who'd contributed 41 from 40 balls, and Dean Brownlie, for a duck, in successive balls. There was little substance from the Wizards mid and lower order from there, as regular wickets fell, with only Tom Latham (42) showing resistance.
Bates finished up with 3/30 from 6 overs, with Kyle Mills (1/12), Chris Martin (2/39) and Donovan Grobbelaar (2/22) also among the wickets, with three Wizards batsmen bring run out.
The early finish meant the Aces started their innings before lunch - despite losing Tim McIntosh early, they are looking comfortable at 55/1 in the tenth over.