Slow starters Canterbury jumped into second place on The Ford Trophy ladder after a third straight victory today, booking one of four spots in the Finals series. Andrew Ellis’s side claimed their second win over the Auckland Aces in the span of the week, claiming a 25-run victory away at Colin Maiden Park to leave the Aces vulnerable.
How it happened
• Canterbury won the toss and decided to have a bat. While young opener Jack Boyle fell early, Chad Bowes and Henry Nicholls added 93 for the second wicket. Bowes made 57 and Nicholls continued his strong run of form with 65 as they manoeuvred Canterbury into a platform to launch from.
• Peter Fulton couldn’t take advantage, but Todd Astle (48 from 42) and Cole McConchie (38 from 38) geared Canterbury towards a respectable total, before Andy Ellis boosted it towards a winning total.
• Batting at number nine, Ellis blasted three fours and two sixes in an important cameo of 29 from 10 balls to push Canterbury through to 276/7, with Donovan Grobbelaar (3-58) and Tarun Nethula (2-41) the most successful of the bowlers.
• The Aucklanders lost their openers cheaply, Glenn Phillips mustering just five and Jeet Raval 19 as Canterbury seamer Will Williams had his best showing of the season.
• The hosts re-grouped, Sean Solia, Rob Nicol and Robbie O’Donnell all spending time at the crease. However, whilst they made runs, they slipped behind the asking rate with Solia (34 from 55), Nicol (76 from 97) and O’Donnell (31 from 47) all struggling to find the boundary at their regular rates.
• Credit for that went to all the main Canterbury bowlers, who were economical throughout the innings. Tim Johnston went for just 38 from his 10 overs, Ellis and Henry Shipley kept it tight, and Williams and Astle claimed three wickets apiece.
• By the time all three ‘set' Auckland batsmen had departed, the Aces were left needing 92 from eight overs. Mark Chapman and Michael Barry tried to hit out, but the asking rate had become too extreme and Canterbury eventually restricted the Aces to 251/9.
Canterbury is now two points behind the Wellington Firebirds on The Ford Trophy ladder, and host the leaders in a key clash next Wednesday at Hagley Oval. Canterbury, the Firebirds and Northern Districts (with three bonus points) are all through to the top four that will contest the playoffs, with a round to spare.
Early leaders the Aces meanwhile now sit in fourth, and travel to Pukekura Park this Wednesday to face the dangerous Central Stags in what is now a must-win clash for both sides. The Otago Volts meanwhile head into the final round in last place, needing a bonus point, huge win and minor miracle to stay alive.