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No.2 Blessing

Eden Park has now completed the spiritual blessing of all parts of the Stadium. This process culminated in the blessing ceremony of the No.2 ground by Ngāti Whātua last Thursday before the Auckland Aces played Northern Districts. This was the first home game on the No.2 in five years. Obliviously it worked, with Auckland taking out the game inside 3 days.

Bruce Martin led the charge as the Auckland Aces cruised to a ten wicket victory over the Northern Knights at Eden Park Outer Oval in Auckland.

The Knights could only manage to post a target of 13 runs, having fallen 185 runs behind the Aces in the first innings. The home side didn’t miss a beat in completing the task, hitting the winning runs after just eight balls.

Despite limiting the Aces to just 27 runs for the last three wickets, the Knights struggled to build a total to take them past the deficit they faced. In the end a 46 run tenth wicket stand gave them the lead, but it was never going to be sustainable.

Yesterday’s centurion Bruce Martin was dismissed for 114 early on in the morning, as the Aces finished 392 all out. Although a touch disappointed to not reach 400, it only brought about their overall success faster.

Openers Joseph Yovich and Brad Wilson toiled hard for the Knights to reach 54 without loss in reply, before Wilson was caught on 20. Matters compounded when James Marshall fell for six, starting a trend of wickets going regularly.

It was Martin who stamped his mark on the game once more, leading the wicket tally with three scalps. It left him with match figures of seven for 106 – his 17th First-Class five wicket bag.

At 150 for nine the Knights looked likely to be heading for an innings loss, but Arnel (24) and Baker (16) showed some resilience and took their side past the target – albeit only just.

Colin de Grandhomme trapped Arnel lbw to give his side the chance to close out the match a day early.  A six and a four in the first over from Lou Vincent more or less guaranteed the result, before Tim McIntosh hit the winning runs with a boundary.

It was a commanding performance from the Aces, which puts them into third on the Plunket Shield Points Table.

Their next Four-Day match is against the Wellington Firebirds on November 26.

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