Late collapse hands Auckland victory over Northern in Ford Trophy

Auckland has claimed their second successive victory in the Ford Trophy after beating Northern this afternoon.

Chasing a target of 279 to win, Northern were cruising at one stage, requiring 70 runs from their last 10 overs, but a sudden loss of wickets turned the match on its head.

Blackcap batsmen Corey Anderson had the run chase in control for Northern before being dismissed just twelve runs short of a century, and when Tim Siefert was suddenly run out on 26, victory was lost.

Auckland held on to win by 11 runs.

The full story:

Northern elected to bowl first in batter-friendly conditions, a decision made all the more surprising with rain forecast for later in the afternoon.

An early Northern breakthrough gave Brad Cachopa opportunity to go after deliveries early.

Cachopa found boundaries on regular occasion, adding another first-class one day half century to his impressive domestic career, hitting sixes and settling in for the duration of the innings.

The run rate sat at 5 RPO throughout for Auckland.

Robbie O’Donnell dug in to support, racing out to a half century to put Auckland in an excellent position at 200 with the last ten overs remaining.

Cachopa and O’Donnell took their partnership over the century mark before Cachopa was dismissed just seven-runs short of a century.

O’Donnell was dismissed for 78.

Auckland reached 278 for the loss of 8 wickets in their allocation of 50 overs.

Daryl Mitchell played a couple of nice shots to find the boundary as the run chase began.

Tight bowling from Auckland saw Mitchell and Daniel Flynn finding it difficult to keep up with the required run rate, but the pair took their partnership past 50 as Flynn began to show aggression.

Mitchell was run out after Flynn didn’t listen to the call and left his partner with no chance of getting back to the crease.

Flynn went past 50 but couldn’t kick on, returning to the pavilion after being bowled.

Key stories from the match:  

  • Northern Knights win toss & bowl first.
  • Brad Cachopa scores 93 before being caught by Dean Brownlie.
  • Cachopa & O’Donnell partnership goes past 100.
  • Robbie O’Donnell scores 78 before being caught by Jono Boult.
  • Auckland score 278 runs.
  • Flynn & Mitchell partnership goes past 50.
  • Flynn scores 65 before being bowled by Taryn Nethula.
  • Corey Anderson scores 88 before being LBW by Lockie Ferguson.
  • Auckland win by 11 runs.

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)

Firebirds become champions in thrilling Super Smash final

The Wellington Firebirds have won the 2014 Georgie Pie Super Smash after just edging out the Auckland Aces this afternoon at Seddon Park.

Ford Trophy Final - Wellington v Northern

It was the best game of the competition without doubt, and in the process the Firebirds have booked a ticket to domestic crickets premier competition, the Champions League.

Being sent in to bat, Michael Pollard again proved why he is an opening batsmen to watch closely as he blazed a magnificent 76 to help the Firebirds to a total of 186. James Franklin was explosive with the bat, sending two balls out of the park as he reached 31, before Grant Elliot chipped in with an aggressive 40 in the dying overs of the Firebirds innings.

Chasing 187 to win, the Auckland Aces kept themselves within a chance right throughout the run chase.

Craig Cachopa played an aggressive and smart innings, getting to 37 before being dismissed.

But watching the game there was a sense that if Colin Munro was at the crease, the Aces were in with a chance to bring it home. Munro put in arguably he best innings in the Aces uniform, blazing multiple sixes out of the ground, but was cruelly caught out on the boundary line as he tried to keep up with the growing run rate.

In the end, the Aces fell 6 runs short and kept themselves in the game right up until the end.

Cachopa bats Auckland Aces into Super Smash finale

The Auckland Aces have booked a place in the Georgie Pie Super Smash grand final after easily beating the Northern Knights.

Twenty20 - Otago v Auckland

Valiant bowling efforts from Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, and Scott Kuggeleign didn’t aid the Knights in their efforts to stop the Aces cruising to victory at Seddon Park this evening.

Aces batsmen Craig Cachopa forged a half century as together with Colin Munro.

The pair hit timely blows for fours and sixes which always kept the run chase in perfect comfort, sending the Knights packing from the Georgie Pie Super Smash competition.

Cachopa went on to put in his best innings of the Super Smash, finishing unbeaten on 67.

In the end the Aces chased down the 141 run total with ease, and it all began when the Knights batting let them down again.

A hat trick to Michael Bates highlighted some top notch bowling by the Aces after the Knights had gotten off to a flyer early in the first innings.

It was second straight collapse in back-to-back playoff matches for the Knights after earlier in the innings Kevin O’Brien had smashed 52 runs off just 25 balls in one of the best innings seen in the Super Smash tournament.

The record-holding Irish import gave the Knights the best platform to what should have been an imposing total.

Problems arose for the Knights as the middle order again failed to bring the innings home. Daryl Mitchell struggled to get going with the bat and after he was bowled by Michael Bates, the lower order crumbled suddenly.

The last five overs in the Knights inning saw an RR of a run per ball for the Knights.

Unable to take advantage of the solid start, the Knights sunk to being bowled out in the last over for just 140 runs.