Aces win State Shield semi-final

State Auckland Aces bowlers backed up David Houpapa’s half-century to earn a place in the State Shield semi-final.

The Aces defeated State Wellington Firebirds at the Basin Reserve by 71 runs to secure a second final of the season against State Otago Volts.

Houpapa struck 66 of his team’s 259 for nine batting first in the capital, having winning the toss and electing to bat.

Former Firebird Mayu Pasupati then helped his new side to victory with three for 24, backed up by Chris Martin and Andre Adams, with two wickets each.

The in-form, Western Australian-born batsman forged half-century stands with rookie Colin de Grandhomme (38) and wicketkeeper Reece Young (37), moving them on from 89 for four in the 21st over.

Jesse Ryder led the home attack with three for 28, and complete a good double with 52 at the crease.

Ryder and Stu Mills put on 82 for the sixth -wicket, the ‘keeper moving on to 65 as the stocky all-rounder’s dismissal.

However, Martin’s fine opening spell of two for 18 off six restrained the Wellington top order, and Pasupati and Adams took over to dismiss Wellington for 188 in 45.1 overs.

The Aces head to Dunedin’s University Oval for Saturday’s final.

They will look to double up trophies in a State Twenty20 final rematch against an Otago side eager to claim the silverware this time.



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