De Grandhomme powers Auckland to victory
Colin de Grandhomme provided the batting power as the Auckland Aces eased to a decisive 92-run win over the Central Stags in their second round Ford Trophy one-day cricket clash at Nelson's Saxton Oval today.
De Grandhomme's unbeaten 78-runs off just 52 balls highlighted Auckland's impressive effort of 307 for 7, the Stags eventually folding for 215 in the 40th over of their run chase on a good batting pitch.
Auckland's No 4 batsman Craig Cachopa had also played a decisive role with 66 runs, while earlier, openers Martin Guptill and Anaru Kitchen had gradually increased the pace after a slow start against some tight early Stags bowling.
But neither batsman cashed in on a good batting pitch, Kitchen edging Andrew Mathieson to first slip for 31 and Guptill eventually lbw to legspinner Tarun Nethula for 35 at 86 for 2.
Cachopa then joined Jeet Raval in an 85-run third wicket partnership as the Aces began to establish their innings. Cachopa eventually brought up his second one-day 50 with a single off Bevan Small, the right-hander reaching his milestone off 43 balls, before Nethula struck again, trapping Raval lbw for 44 at 171 for 3.
Colin Munro didn't last long, bowled by Seth Rance for 7. But it was Mathieson who struck the vital blow when Cachopa eventually edged him through to wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk for 66 at 198 for 5. Cachopa faced 62 balls and hit eight boundaries.
De Grandhomme displayed some customary aggression by hoisting Mathieson over square leg for six to push the total past 200, the right-hander eventually working a single through midwicket to post his half century off just 38 balls.
He'd ultimately join his skipper Michael Bates in an unbroken 47-run eighth wicket stand as Auckland ended their innings at 307 for 7, De Grandhomme's knock including seven fours and three sixes.
Nethula (3-64) bagged three wickets for the second consecutive match as Mathieson finished with 2 for 59.
Jamie How and Ben Smith produced a solid 81-run opening partnership to kickstart the Stag's run chase. It was eventually ended by left arm seamer Mitchell McClenaghan who had Smith caught behind for 34 - just one ball after he had How dropped on 37.
McClenaghan was soon back in the action, removing How's off stump as the Stags slumped suddenly to 88 for 2.
Greg Hay (17) and Will Young (26) failed to build on useful starts as the Stags quickly slipped deeper into trouble at 158 for 6.
Kruger van Wyk showed some fight, hitting four fours and a six in his 36-ball 44. But the end came quickly, McClenaghan finally bowling Seth Rance off the first ball of the 40th over to secure his fourth wicket and end the match.
M Guptill lbw b Nethula 35
A Kitchen c Noema-Barnett b Mathieson 31
J Raval lbw b Nethula 44
C Cachopa c van Wyk b Mathieson 66
C Munro b Rance 7
C de Grandhomme not out 78
D Grobbelaar c Hay b Small 8
K Mills b Nethula 11
M Bates not out 9
Extras (1b, 8lb, 9w) 18
Total (for 7 wkts) 307
Fall: 48 (Kitchen), 86 (Guptill), 171 (Raval), 185 (Munro), 198 (Cachopa), 237 (Grobbelaar), 260 (Mills)
Bowling: B Small 10-0-62-1, S Rance 10-0-49-1, A Mathieson 10-1-59-2 (3w), T Nethula 10-0-64-3 (2w), M Kain 9-0-52-0 (2w), J How 1-0-12-0.
J How b McClenaghan 44
B Smith c Cachopa b McClenaghan 34
G Hay c Raval b Singh 17
W Young c Cachopa b Munro 26
K van Wyk c Singh b Bates 44
K Noema-Barnett c Guptill b Munro 1
T Nethula c Cachopa b Mills 1
M Kain c Cachopa b McClenaghan 10
B Small c Cachopa b Bates 12
S Rance b McClenaghan 4
A Mathieson not out 0
Extras (5b, 7lb, 8w, 2nb) 22
Total (39.1 overs) 215
Fall: 81 (Smith), 88 (How), 122 (Hay), 147 (Young), 154 (Noema-Barnett), 158 (Nethula), 185 (van Wyk), 189 (Kain), 215 (Small), 215 (Rance)
Bowling: M McClenaghan 7.1-0-45-4 (2w), K Mills 8-0-36-1 (1w), M Bates 7-0-41-2 (2nb), C de Grandhomme 4-0-18-0 (1w), B Singh 6-0-29-1, D Grobbelaar 2-0-17-0, C Munro
Auckland Aces won by 92 runs.
Should the NZ selectors pick Jesse Ryder if he's available?