Thompson rips the top off Aces

A five-wicket haul for State Central Stags allrounder Ewen Thompson has hurt State Auckland Aces’ bid for a second straight State Championship win.

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At stumps on the second day of their match in Napier, the Stags were 133-2 in their second innings to hold a lead of 139 over the Aces.

Resuming on their overnight score of 191-6, Central did not last long to be dismissed for 213 with Azhar Abbas (3-52) and Colin de Grandhomme (3-12) cleaning up the tail.

Auckland, who beat defending champions Canterbury in the opening match of the season last week, were in strife early in their first innings.

They lost their first wicket with six runs on the board and were reeling at 42-6 by the 17th over after Thompson removed Richard Jones (5), Tim McIntosh (1), Scott Styris (0), Reece Young (4) and de Grandhomme (11). Thompson finished with 5-57 from 18 overs for his third five-wicket bag in first-class cricket.

Yorkshire allrounder Steven Croft and Tarun Nethula steadied the ship with a partnership of 79 for the seventh wicket before Croft fell for 59 to Brent Hefford.

Mitchell McClenaghan and Hefford snared the remaining wickets to ensure Central picked up first innings points. Auckland removed Peter Ingram for one before Brad Patton and George Worker shared a partnership of 72 before Worker departed for 27.

Patton, 61, and Tim Weston, 33, were the not out batsmen at stumps.

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