Auckland Aces victorious in low-scoring final
Auckland are the domestic one-day cricket champions after sneaking a three-wicket win in a bizarrely low-scoring final at Eden Park No 2.
After rolling the Canterbury Wizards for just 139, the Aces had a nervous chase falling from 118-3 to 131-7 before reaching their target in just the 26th over.
The finale marked the end of a golden summer for run scoring, but there was little to celebrate from a batting point of view all day.
Auckland captain Gareth Hopkins was a rock and his 34no was the fourth-highest score of the final behind Tom Latham and Peter Fulton with 42 and 41 respectively and Auckland opener Anaru Kitchen's 37.
Despite a bit of early movement, there were few other signs that ball would dominate bat so much.
After being inserted, Canterbury were 58-1 before the wheels well and truly fell off.
Just 11 balls later they were 60-5 and almost already out of the final.
Latham and Andrew Ellis added a match-high 43 for the sixth wicket, but the Wizards folded in the 35th over.
Their innings was over so early that Auckland had to face 10 overs before lunch.
Auckland then looked in control from the outset, reaching 61-1 before they too got the speed wobbles.
Colin Munro blazed 21 runs from just 10 balls, but when Andrew Ellis dismissed him at 118-4, the Ace's lower order was needlessly exposed.
Colin de Grandhomme (2), Donovan Grobbelaar (4) and Kyle Mills (2) all departed in the next four overs before Bruce Martin smacked two fours and Hopkins hit the winning runs.
It is Auckland's second title in three years and their third in the last seven years.
G Worker c de Grandhomme b C Martin 0
R Nicol run out (de Grandhomme) 12
P Fulton c C Martin b Bates 41
D Brownlie c Hopkins b Bates 0
T Latham c de Grandhomme b Bates 42
S Stewart c Munro b C Martin 1
A Ellis c Bates b Grobbelaar 17
R Hira c Hopkins b Grobbelaar 0
M Henry run out (Kitchen) 2
R McCone not out 14
H Bennett c Hopkins b Mills 0
Extras (4b, 3lb, 3wd) 10
Total (all out, 34.5 overs) 139
Fall of wickets: 2, 58, 59, 59, 60, 103, 111, 115, 131, 139.
Bowling: K Mills 6.5-0-12-1, C Martin 7-1-39-2 (1wd), M Bates 6-0-30-3, C de Grandhomme 7-0-23 (1wd), D Grobbelaar 7-1-22-2 (1wd), C Munro 1-0-6-0.
T McIntosh c Latham b Henry 13
A Kitchen c Latham b Bennett 37
G Hopkins not out 34
C Cachopa c Latham b Ellis 17
C Munro c Henry b Ellis 21
C de Grandhomme c Bennett b McCone 2
D Grobbelaar c Fulton b McCone 4
K Mills b McCone 2
B Martin not out 8
Extras: (1lb, 3wd, 1nb) 5
Total: (for seven wickets, 25.1 overs) 143
Fall of wickets: 20, 61, 95, 118, 120, 129, 131
Bowling: M Henry 6-1-39-1, R McCone 8-0-31-3 (2wd), A Ellis 6.1-1-34-2 (1nb), H Bennett 5-0-38-1 (1wd).
Auckland win by three wickets.
- The Press
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