Cricket: Aces crush Central by 40 runs

By Bob Pearce

Auckland batsman Colin Munro made 68 against Central Districts. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Auckland batsman Colin Munro made 68 against Central Districts. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Auckland rubbed in their victory over Central Districts in the T20 final at Colin Maiden Park with a 40-run win in the one-day game on the same ground yesterday.

The Aces scored 279 for nine in their 50 overs and, after a skittery start in the field, they were never seriously threatened by the visitors, who were dismissed for 239 with one ball to spare.

The announcement of the national one-day squad came during the Central innings but neither Jamie How, who was caught at midwicket off Daryl Tuffey for two, nor Jacob Oram, who was leg before to Ronnie Hira for five, celebrated their selection at the crease.

The Auckland innings was a mixed bag, lacking the really big partnership that would have put them in control.

Lou Vincent, whose big century was the foundation of the comfortable victory over Canterbury in the last game, went cheaply. But fellow opener Jeet Raval was in good touch with 54 off 60 balls, adding 50 with captain Gareth Hopkins in good time before he was caught behind off leg-spinner Tarun Nethula.

Former Aucklander Nethula also removed Colin de Grandhomme and when Hopkins played across the first ball of a new spell from Doug Bracewell and was bowled, Auckland were suddenly 122 for five.

Kyle Mills came and went, another Nethula victim at 135 for six, but Colin Munro played an uncharacteristically subdued innings of 68 and Hira (36) and Tuffey (36) ensured Auckland posted a competitive total.

On a day when a gusting wind tested the bowlers' control, Nethula took three for 46 from his 10 overs. Mitchell McClenaghan also picked up three wickets but his figures suffered as the tail hit out.

Auckland's catching, so secure in the T20 final, let them down in the early stages of the Central innings. Opener George Worker, who went on to make 57 off 64 balls, was dropped twice before he reached double figures. The unlucky bowler was Kyle Mills.

Michael Bates, the destroyer in that final, had 17 taken off his first over but Tuffey and Andre Adams applied the brakes and Hira collected a couple of quick wickets. At 148 for six in the 36th over, Central needed some quick runs but only Kruger Van Wyk responded with 36.

Adams and Hira collected three wickets and Tuffey bowled an impressive 10 overs for 32 and two wickets.

- NZ Herald

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