Aces lose out to Volts

The Otago Volts have overcome a belligerent Colin Munro century to post a thrilling three wicket victory over the Auckland Aces at Eden Park Outer Oval. 

Having held the Aces to a lead of 217, the Volts successfully negotiated the target in 60.3 overs, though the chase certainly wasn't without its precarious moments. 

Hamish Rutherford (0), Michael Bracewell (2) and Neil Broom (1) all went cheaply to leave the visitors extremely vulnerable at 27 for three.

Aaron Redmond saw out the tough opening spell, but was then caught on 36 in the 28th over with the Volts still needing a further 135 runs for victory. 

Nathan McCullum and Sam Wells then put on a crucial 72 run stand for the fifth wicket to bolster their side's chances.  Just as McCullum looked to finish with a bang, the 32 year-old was sent on his way for 77.

What followed was almost a stalemate between the two sides, with five maidens being bowled on the trot. The lean patch was then capped off by the dismissal of Derek de Boorder to reduce the Volts to 165 for six. 

The game was broken wide open when Sam Wells (39) was bowled by Kyle Mills just four runs later - a tense finish looked likely. 

It didn't eventuate though as Jimmy Neesham and Neil Wagner showed attack was the best form of defense, smashing their way to victory to claim a three wicket win. 

Neesham finished with a destructive 36 from 30 balls, while Wagner played his role too with 17 from 25. 

Mitchell McClenaghan and Chris Martin were both effective with the ball in hand and finished with figures of three for 48 and three for 62 respectively. 

Earlier Colin Munro had done well to dig Auckland out of the hole they found themselves in at the start of the day at 118 for five. 

The 25 year-old followed up his massive double-century at the same venue last week with a clinical 118. The knock came from 124 balls and - as with any Munro innings - was highlighted by some big shots. 

He found help from Craig Cachopa (27) and Bruce Martin (32) for a bit, but began to run out of partners. Having struck six sixes and 12 fours he too was out, closing the Aces innings at 274 from 56.4 overs. 

Ian Butler retained his spot on top of the Plunket Shield wickets chart, finishing with four scalps from the innings and overall match analysis of nine for 118. 

The victory puts the Volts in second place on the points ladder, 13 behind the Central Stags.

Full scorecard

- The Aucklander

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