It’s been another tough day for the Auckland ACES at Eden Park’s Outer Oval going down to the Otago Volts by six wickets.
Having lost the toss and asked to bat first, Martin Guptill (40) and Sean Solia (19) provided the ACES with another solid start. The pair drove confidently, racing out to 46/0 from the first seven overs.
Otago Volts skipper Nick Kelly led from the front for his side, making several diving stops during the powerplay. When Guptill was adjudged to have got something on his attempted hook shot, the ACES began to fall away.
71/1 became 113/5 as the Volts settled in on tight lines and lengths. Will O’Donnell survived the onslaught to anchor the ACES inning. The ACES No. 3 bettered his highest List-A score registering his third fifty in succession.
It was another patient and important knock from O’Donnell, who hit 6 fours on his way to 85 off 110 balls. O’Donnell eventually found support in Ross ter Braak, who blazed 31 off 24 balls to help take the ACES past 200.
For the Volts, Gus McKenzie (2-22) proved difficult to get away, while spinners Michael Rippon (2-36) and Anaru Kitchen (2-26) combined to keep the Volts on top. It was Michael Rae, however, who wrapped the ACES inning up at 225, adding three wickets to his seven on Sunday.
Again, the ACES knew early wickets were the key to defending their sub-par total. While Mitch Renwick (40) took his time to get started, Kelly (61) took on the responsibility of the early scoring as the Volts were steady at 50/0 through the first ten overs.
When Robbie O’Donnell turned to spin in search of a breakthrough, the Volts were running away with the match. Will Somerville was the first to strike when Renwick missed his cut before Kelly’s attempted paddle ended in the hands of wicketkeeper Ben Horne.
A fantastic diving catch by ter Braak, running back at mid-on, was quickly followed by Delport’s second scalp of the day. There were still enough runs in the bank for some late drama, but it wasn’t to be as Neil Broom (68*) took the Volts to a comfortable victory in the 43rd over.
The ACES are back at the Outer Oval on Sunday against the Wellington Firebirds.