Auckland Aces 350 all out (Michael Guptill-Bunce 67, Sean Solia 48, Mark Chapman 81, Brad Cachopa 75*, Tarun Nethula 33; Ed Nuttall 5-67, Kyle Jamieson 3-86) lost to Canterbury 400/7 declared (Peter Fulton 72; Tarun Nethula 5-128) on 25 November 2016 at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora
Canterbury claimed a stunning Plunket Shield victory over the Auckland Aces in a gripping match which came down to the final overs.
Requiring 361 to win, Auckland had batted resolutely to be in a commanding position at 290/4, with more than 20 overs remaining. And, despite losing a few further wickets, they still seemed on track for a superb run chase when they needed just 20 runs with four wickets left — enough overs in hand.
However, a devastating spell of bowling from pace duo Kyle Jamieson and Ed Nuttall tore through the tail, and left Brad Cachopa needing the help of an injured Robbie O’Donnell if they were to knock off the final 14 runs, with one wicket remaining.
O’Donnell – who wasn’t expected to be required to bat – could last for only five balls, Jamieson enticing an edge, Peter Fulton taking an excellent low grab in the slips and Canterbury jumping for joy.
The win moves Canterbury into second on the ladder with 49 points, three behind leaders Northern Districts. The Aces sit eight points further back in fourth.
POINTS AFTER 5 ROUNDS
ND — 52
Canterbury — 49
Wellington Firebirds — 47
Auckland Aces — 41
Central Stags — 28
Otago Volts — 23
Such a finish seemed oh so unlikely earlier in the day, when Canterbury had set the Aces what would have been their fourth-largest fourth innings chase in the province’s Plunket Shield history.
Canterbury started the day by resuming their innings at 316/2, and went about adding quick runs at the expense of regular wickets.
Peter Fulton pushed on to 72 before Rob Nicol had him caught in the deep by Tarun Nethula, who then went on to claim the other four wickets for his 10th five-wicket bag in the Plunket Shield, and third already this season.
A chunk of his wickets came about thanks to Canterbury’s aggression, Ken McClure out reverse sweeping and Cole McConchie stumped after charging down the track.
That approach saw the hosts reach 400/7, at which point they declared, leaving the Aces with 361 to win in just 84 overs.
Their chase started poorly as Rob Nicol fended a Jamieson delivery to first slip in the first over, but a 99-run partnership between Michael Guptill-Bunce and Sean Solia put them back on track.
Guptill-Bunce made 67, while Solia added 48 to go with his first innings 49. While he didn't hit the arbitrary round number milestones that cricket craves, Solia showed impressive poise and patience with the bat in a promising debut.
Both wickets were claimed by spinners, but that was the last success spin would have as seam took over.
Colin Munro came and went for a typically aggressive 29 from 27 balls before Mark Chapman and Brad Cachopa linked up for what had looked to be a match-defining partnership.
The pair combined for a stand of 128 as Chapman made 81 – his highest first-class score, and an innings which put Auckland well on top.
That’s when Nuttall struck, though, Chapman caught on the leg-side boundary and Donovan Grobbelaar snaffled at point in quick succession.
Nethula and Cachopa hung tough in a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket, but just as the game began to look out of reach for Canterbury, Nuttall again gave his side hope with the scalp of Nethula — caught at third man.
The Aces needed more resistance from their tail, but the Canterbury seam duo of Jamieson and Nuttall sent their counterparts, Lockie Ferguson and Cody Andrews, both back to the pavilion without scoring.
Jamieson finished with 11 wickets for the match, and Nuttall claimed his third Plunket Shield five-wicket bag as Canterbury's intensity reached boiling point. All the while Brad Cachopa remained unbeaten on 75, desperately running out of partners as he dragged the Aces closer to the desired total.
It was left to O’Donnell, who had popped his hamstring, to bravely try and save the day, but it wasn’t to be as Canterbury capped off a superb day of cricket with the winning wicket.
Twenty-one-year-old Jamieson had headed into this round with 13 wickets, the sixth most by any bowler this season. His stunning 8-74 and career best 11-160 for the match now sees him leap to third on the season wickets table — behind Aces leg-spinner Tarun Nethula (26) and Stags off-spinner Ajaz Patel (25).
The New Zealand domestic season now switches to white ball mode — McDonald’s Super Smash followed by the one-day Ford Trophy — until the battle for the Plunket Shield resumes on 25 February 2017.
Canterbury 316/2 in the second innings (Jack Boyle career best 81, Chad Bowes career best 155, Peter Fulton 66*) lead the Auckland Aces by 276 runs on Thursday, 24 November 2016 at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora
A superb maiden Plunket Shield century from Canterbury opener Chad Bowes highlighted the penultimate day of their clash with the Auckland Aces.
Bowes struck a career-best 155 – his first for the province, and second in first-class cricket after a spell for KwaZulu-Natal in his native South Africa.
The former South Africa Under-19s representative hadn’t had huge success in his first eight Plunket Shield games with Canterbury, compiling a solitary fifty at an average of 24.8.
However, that all changed in 207 balls, Bowes crushing 19 fours and two sixes as he stayed at the crease for 74 overs.
His innings was the highlight of a day which saw Canterbury progress to 316/2 – a lead of 276 runs.
Bowes was proficient around the ground, finding plenty of space in the offside to dispatch wide deliveries from Auckland’s seamers, and regularly went aerial through the leg side off spinner Tarun Nethula.
Tossing in the occasional reverse sweep, all forms of deliveries were dispatched by Bowes – managing to find the boundary off a Cody Andrews delivery that bounced twice, as well as hitting a chest-high full toss for four.
As Bowes was aggressively finding the rope, his opening partner Jack Boyle also had an innings to remember.
The 20-year-old debutant made 81 as the pair added 167 for the first wicket – turning an Auckland advantage into a contest controlled by Canterbury.
When Boyle left, the far more experienced Peter Fulton took over, joining Bowes for a second-wicket partnership of 128.
Fulton snapped out of a recent form slump and had reached 66 by tea, on track for a century until rain fell, wiping away the final session and leaving the contest up in the air going into day four.
Canterbury will likely want to build on their 276-run lead before a potential declaration is considered but, with scattered showers forecast, the weather could play a role in the quest for an outright result.
Canterbury 73/0 in the second innings (Jack Boyle maiden 54*) leads the Auckland Aces (285 all out, Sean Solia 49, Colin Munro 108 not out, Lockie Ferguson career best 41; Kyle Jamieson career best 8-74) by 33 runs on Wednesday, 23 November at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora
First innings batting bonus points, Canterbury 1, Aces 2 (completed)
First innings bowling bonus points, Aces 4, Canterbury 4 (completed)
A remarkable display of bowling and rare statistical feat by Kyle Jamieson has put Canterbury in a healthy position in their Plunket Shield clash with Auckland.
Jamieson claimed 8-74 – the best figures in the Plunket Shield since Mitchell McClenaghan took 8-23 for the Auckland Aces against the Otago Volts in 2012.
His exploits reduced what could have been a sizeable first innings lead for the Aces, and an unbroken opening stand of 73 then put Canterbury back on top, with a lead of 33 runs heading into Day Three.
Jamieson’s efforts were much needed as a counter-balance to a traditionally blistering innings from Colin Munro.
Dropped down to number seven due the effects of a gastro virus, Munro showed no signs of it as he blasted his 10th first class century.
An unbeaten 108 from 86 balls included nine fours and five sixes as Munro put Canterbury’s attack over the long-on and leg-side boundaries with regularity.
He had some help along the way – debutant Sean Solia withstood Matt Henry and Ed Nuttall to compile a composed 49 before he was bowled by Jamieson. Then Lockie Ferguson joined in with Munro to add 94 for the eighth wicket, of which the quick bowler contributed a career best 41.
Munro kept powering along, continuing to smoke boundaries as he entered the 90s, and brought up the ton while down to his last partner. Cody Andrews showed he could hit some boundaries of his own, but the tail couldn’t stick around for further fireworks though as Jamieson cleaned them up.
The 21-year-old used his height expertly with some steeping short balls, and found good lines when pitching up to claim a career-best outing which could be hard to top. It’s the 13th best return in Canterbury’s long first-class history.
Auckland still had a lead of 40 runs, but it was adeptly picked off before stumps by the Canterbury opening pair of Jack Boyle and Chad Bowes.
After a frantic introduction to first-class cricket yesterday, Boyle looked far more comfortable with a 50 on debut, finishing the day unbeaten on 54, while Bowes will resume on 18.
Both teams have claimed all four first innings bowling points on offer, but Canterbury claimed only one batting point to Auckland’s two.
Canterbury 245 all out (Ken McClure 47, Andy Ellis 53, Cameron Fletcher 45; Lockie Ferguson 3-51) lead the Auckland Aces 31/3 by 214 runs in the first innings at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora on Tuesday 22 November 2016
First innings batting bonus points, Canterbury 1 (completed), Aces 0 (in progress)
First innings bowling bonus points, Aces 4 (maximum achieved), Canterbury 1 (in progress)
Fifteen wickets fell on a fluctuating first day's play between Canterbury and the Auckland Aces at Mainpower Oval.
Sent into bat, Canterbury could muster only 245, but that total looked more imposing by the end of the day after they had reduced Auckland to 31/3 in reply.
Privileged to have Sir Richard Hadlee down to present Sean Solia with his Auckland baggy #508 pic.twitter.com/A2sgWuSjE5— Auckland Cricket (@aucklandcricket) November 21, 2016
It was a day for debutants in Rangiora, Sir Richard Hadlee in attendance to hand Auckland’s Sean Solia and Canterbury’s Jack Boyle their caps for the first time, the latter having been called up at the last minute after a pre-match injury to Michael Davidson.
Davidson had been getting throwdowns before the game and practising short balls when he was concussed, Boyle received a phone call from coach Gary Stead at 9:45am, shot out to Rangiora in time to find out Canterbury was batting first, and chucked on the pads to open the batting.
Boyle — son of former Canterbury player Justin and nephew of former Canterbury opener David — was immediately thrust into the action against the quickest bowler he had ever faced (Lockie Ferguson), the former St Bede’s standout opening the innings alongside Chad Bowes.
Neither would see off the opening bowlers, Boyle trapped lbw by Donovan Grobbelaar after 23 balls and Bowes skying a limp attempted hook shot off the bowling of Ferguson, safely into the hands of Tarun Nethula at mid-on.
Peter Fulton followed shortly after and when Cole McConchie (23) was caught behind, Canterbury found themselves at 66/4 – Ferguson and Grobbelaar with two wickets apiece.
More resistance was provided by the middle order, however, as Ken McClure and Andrew Ellis rebuilt the innings. The pair added 80 for the fifth wicket before McClure was slow to react on Ellis's attempt at a quick single, consequently finding himself run out for 47.
Ellis did manage to reach his half century, but lost his temperament three runs later. The experienced allrounder danced down the wicket to try to slog Tarun Nethula, only to miss completely and see Brad Cachopa swipe off the bails.
Wickets fell steadily after that as Tim Johnston, Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson were dismissed at 10-run intervals, but Canterbury manufactured a last-wicket stand which could prove crucial on what has so far been a bowler-friendly wicket.
Cam Fletcher and Ed Nuttall stuck around for 14 overs to add an unlikely 50 for the final wicket. Nuttall brought up his career-high in all formats with an unbeaten 16, while Fletcher made 45 as the pair frustrated the Aces' attack.
Eventually it was Solia who struck, claiming his first Plunket Shield wicket as Fletcher spooned a delivery to point. He ended with figures of 1-30, with Grobbelaar (2-46), Ferguson (3-51), Nethula (1-46) and seamer Cody Andrews (2-48) claiming the other scalps.
Canterbury’s seamers found similar success in their 15 overs bowled before stumps.
Michael Guptill-Bunce perished early, caught behind playing a loose stroke to Henry, before Robbie O’Donnell fell victim to the pull shot – Boyle taking the grab at square leg off Jamieson’s bowling.
Just as it looked like the duo of Rob Nicol and Solia were seeing Auckland safely to stumps without any further losses, Jamieson came up trumps in the last over of the day.
The lanky quick trapped Nicol plumb in front, and left the Aces with plenty of work to do tomorrow to regain control of the encounter.