The ACES are on the board after a comprehensive 133-run Ford Trophy win against the Otago Volts at Eden Park Outer Oval.
The star of the first half of the match was undoubtedly Volts’ enforcer Michael Rae, who claimed remarkable figures of 7-35 from his ten overs.
While Rae had a day to remember, the majority of the first innings saw the ACES graft through to a solid position. The O’Donnell brothers, Will (61) and Robbie (52) both made fifty as the ACES top order set the inning up for a big finish.
For Will, it was his second successive half-century after raising his bat in Whangarei on Tuesday against Northern Districts. The ACES No. 3 hit 4 fours and a pair of clean sixes on his way to a 66-ball fifty. Robbie hit 5 fours during his knock, but his dismissal sparked a late-inning collapse that saw the ACES lose 6-23.
Rae had his name on all six of those wickets to leave the field as only the fourth bowler to take seven wickets in this competition.
The late collapse left the ACES 246 to defend. New ball pair Ross ter Braak (4-27) and Ben Lister (2-13) then fired up to drag the game back in the ACES favour. First Lister had a leg-before decision go in his favour before ter Braak had two go his way. Within 10 balls of the Volts innings, the visitors were reeling at 3/3.
Soon enough, both ter Braak and Lister had added another wicket to their names and half the Volts’ side were back in the pavilion. The Volts fought on from there, while Will Somerville (3-26) helped the ACES keep the stranglehold on the Volts.
Though Dale Phillips stood tallest for the Volts with 41, his knock ended when he hit a ter Braak full toss to deep square. The Volts were eventually bowled out for 113 when Rae chipped Somerville to an alert Martin Guptill at mid-wicket.
Both teams return to the Outer Oval on Tuesday for Round Four of the Ford Trophy.