GPSS: Munro and Guptill shine for Aces

Some average bowling by the Northern Knights saw Auckland Aces batsmen Colin Munro and Martin Guptill run riot in Hamilton tonight.

Electing to bat first, the Auckland Aces set their Northern rivals a target of 192 that proved to be sufficient for a crucial win that sealed a place in the finals.

Colin Munro smashed the ball to all parts, scoring 82 after Martin Guptill had earlier set the Aces well on their way with an impressive knock of 63 in partnership.

A defiant knock of 39 by Anderson was entertaining for the crowd, but the Northern Knights fell well short of their target and were beaten easily by Auckland at a margin of 38 runs.

The full story:

The Knights batsmen were immediately under the pump in their chase, with a RRPO of nine runs per over at a time, and it claimed the early wicket of Anton Devcich and captain Daniel Flynn who both couldn’t make a decent dent in the runs deficit.

Three sixes in one over saw a sudden partnership between Corey Anderson and Irish import Kevin O’Brien burst past 50 runs. With the RRPO now over 10, the slight window of hope for the Knights rested on the two power hitters.

A brilliant catch in the outfield by Lockie Fergusson dismissed O’Brien, the Knights batsman who had looked most at ease.

A potential broken toe for Corey Anderson didn’t help the Knights struggle in a chase that was always looking out of reach, but the injury didn’t stop Anderson finding the other side of the fence to entertain the home crowd.

Martin Guptill, one of the few Blackcaps opting to play domestic cricket prior to the Sri Lankan tour, got the ball rolling early for the Aces earlier in the night.

Guptill struck three big sixes to get himself going before strategically working himself to his 26th First Class T20 half century with controlled aggression and hitting gaps in the field.

Guptill was eventually dismissed for 63 in one of the Blackcaps openers’ better performances in the Aces uniform.

Rob Nicol pitched in with his typical well-timed stroke play for 29.

Some woeful bowling allowed Colin Munro to find Seddon Parks’ embankment with ease. A lacklustre bowling style with no variation fed into the batting strength of Munro resulting in a huge leakage of runs.

Munro reached 50 quickly, his eighth in First Class T20 cricket, and by the time the Knights bowlers tightened their lines, Munro had bolted and was finding the fence on almost every ball faced.

Munro was eventually dismissed for 82 off 39 balls.

At a glance:

Auckland Aces 191/4 (Colin Munro 82, Martin Guptill 63)

Northern Knights 154 (Corey Anderson 39, Kevin O’Brien 23)

GPSS: Nicholls and Ellis help Canterbury Kings to easy victory

A solid knock by Henry Nicholls has seen the Canterbury Kings cruise to an easy 7-wicket win over the Northern Knights in Hamilton this evening.

Chasing 154 to win, Nicholls kept his sides’ chase secure and took the game away from the Knights through controlled aggression with the bat.

Peter Fulton dug in to form a match-winning partnership of 87 alongside Nicholls, setting the Kings well on their way to victory in a run chase that was never in doubt.

Andrew Ellis took five wickets in his spell, ripping through the Knights batting order and keeping the runs to better than the minimum, ending with figures of 5-9.

Ronnie Hira and Todd Astle also helped out with three wickets between them.

Barring an aggressive opening by Anton Devcich and a solid innings by captain Daniel Flynn, the rest of the Knights batsmen fell like a deck of cards before youngster Tim Seifert showed signs of his potential to help his side to a modest total.

The Knights had decided to bat first in what appeared to be perfect batting conditions, and despite being a few key players down due to Blackcaps commitments, there was still more than enough fire power to assist the top order.

The Knights couldn’t take advantage the perfect platform set by Devcich to kick on or utilise the talent of overseas import Kevin O’Brien in the middle order when a total or near 200 looked likely early in the innings.

Canterbury cruised to an easy victory by 7-wickets, thanks large in part to Henry Nicholls and Peter Fulton’s partnership.

Key stories from the match:

  • Northern Knights win toss & chose to bat first
  • 50-run opening partnership for the Knights inside first 4 overs
  • Anton Devcich scores powers the Knights off to a good start – scoring 43 runs before being dismissed
  • Ronnie Hira & Todd Astle take wickets to stifle Knights momentum
  • Daniel Flynn scores 44 before being dismissed
  • Andrew Ellis takes 5 wickets with figures of 5-9
  • Northern Knights bowled out for 153 in the final over
  • Canterbury Kings require 154 for victory
  • Ronnie Hira blasts 2 sixes in opening over of run chase and gets Kings off to a flyer – eventually dismissed for 24 at a S/R of 200
  • Peter Fulton and Harry Nicholls bring up 50-run partnership
  • Harry Nicholls brings up half century
  • Canterbury Kings win by 7-wickets