A great summer shaping up for Auckland Aces captain Robbie O'Donnell | PHOTOSPORT

Plunket Shield frontrunners strengthen their lead

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Molyneux Park, Alexandra

11-14 March, 2022


Toss: Aces who batted

First innings bonus points: Auckland Aces 7, Otago Volts 5

Total points this round: Auckland Aces 19, Otago Volts 5

Selected Milestones

Ma'ara Ave - first-class debut for Otago Volts (as a loan player from the Central Stags)

Ma'ara Ave - first player to play for two teams in a single Plunket Shield season

Travis Muller (Otago Volts): maiden first-class half century


A fascinating last day began with Auckland Aces captain Robbe O'Donnell batting on to another half century in the game, before declaring at 259/4.

That left the Otago Volts with a chase of 315.

Ben Lister quickly broke through with the wicket of Hamish Rutherford, however.

The Volts found themselves three down before lunch as spinners Will Somerville and Louis Delport found some turn.

A further four wickets in the middle session had the hosts well and truly on the back foot, at 137/7.

The Volts' lower order battened down the hatches in a determined last session, while Delport hunted and hunted for his fifth wicket.

The spinner would be left with 4-59 and fellow spinner Somerville 3-22 after Kyle Jamieson claimed the final wicket late in the afternoon to keep the Auckland Aces unbeaten and firmly at the top of the table after four rounds, as the only side with four wins.


The unbeaten Auckland Aces have taken a 271-run overall lead with six wickets in hand heading into tomorrow's decisive day against the Otago Volts.

Nick Kelly top-scored for the hosts with 75 in the Volts' first innings total of 334, while Travis Muller contributed his career best first-class score of 65, batting at eight, before spinner Will Somerville took the final wicket for a haul of 4-66.

Will O'Donnell (70) and Glenn Phillips (73) put together a brisk 136-run second wicket partnership to get the visitors off to a solid start in the second innings, but the Volts fought back with Jacob Duffy and Michael Rippon each pocketing a brace of wickets before stumps.

Will's big brother Robbie O'Donnell is set to resume the final morning on 26*, with the Aces 216/4.


A Kyle Jamieson return catch provided the highlight of the second day.

The tall man reached down for an impressive caught and bowled to dismiss Otago Volt Mitch Renwick in Alexandra where unbeaten leaders Auckland Aces have taken a 222-run first-innings lead into the third day.

Nick Kelly will resume on 51 not out for the Volts who still have a big job in front of them to rein in the Auckland Aces' first innings total of 389.

The Volts are 167/3, spinner Louis Delport having snaffled the other two Volts wickets either side of tea, after Jamieson's brilliant breakthrough at 50/1.

Earlier in the day, Aces captain Robbie O'Donnell's knock had ended at 84, the top score in a combined effort from the visitors that included a handy half century at eight from Will Somerville.

It was just veteran Somerville's third first-class half ton, and his second this year against the Volts, while rangy young Volts paceman Jarrod McKay finished with 4-85.


On the charge, the Auckland Aces' powerhouse batting line-up made another strong start in the national first-class championship with captain Robbie O'Donnell unbeaten on 73* after winning the toss on the first day in Alexandra, Central Otago.

Fresh off his first Plunket Shield double century in the previous round, O'Donnell elected to bat against hosts the Otago Volts as the unbeaten Aces endeavour to stay at the top of the ladder.

Opening left-hand batsman George Worker continued his own rich vein of form with 80 at the top, the Aces 299/5 after 88 overs by stumps - requiring just a single from the following morning to notch up a third batting bonus point.

Keeping wicket for the Otago Volts in this match, Central Stags loan player Ma'ara Ave meanwhile created a slice of history when he stepped on the field for Otago.

Ave becomes the first player to represent more than one team in a Plunket Shield season, having made his Plunket Shield debut for the Stags earlier this summer.

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