Auckland Aces take title in style
Auckland Aces 196 for 5 (Guptill 70, Mahmood 44) beat Canterbury 152 (Ellis 41, Bates 3-18, Adams 3-32) by 44 runs
Auckland Aces took home the HRV Cup with a resounding win over Canterbury at Colin Maiden Park. Prior to the final, Auckland had been the most successful team in the competition with seven wins from 10 games and they put in a dominating performance in the summit clash, winning by 44 runs. The win also gave Auckland a ticket to the Champions League T20.
Their highest run-getter in this competition, Martin Guptill, led the charge, delivering an attacking start and laying the stage for a big total. He smashed four sixes and four fours in his 70 off 41 balls, first adding 71 with fellow opener Azhar Mahmood and then putting together just as many with Anaru Kitchen. At 142 for 2 in the 16th over, when Guptill fell, the stage was laid for a surge at the death with plenty of wickets in hand. The last 3.2 overs yielded 47 runs. Colin de Grandhomme made a quick 24 and captain Gareth Hopkins made a nine-ball 17. Auckland finished with 196 for 5, and cashed in most on the bowling of Mitchell Claydon, who was taken for 44 in his four overs.
The Canterbury chase suffered a blow as early as the second over when Rob Nicol was bowled by Michael Bates. George Worker and Peter Fulton got starts but were unable to press on, and the Auckland bowlers struck regularly to reduce Canterbury to 75 for 6 in the 13th over. Canterbury were way behind on the required rate and only a miracle could help them catch up, but that wasn't to be. Brendon Diamanti made a quick 22 and Andrew Ellis went further, smacking the ball around for 41 runs, to lend some respectability to the Canterbury innings. They were eventually bowled out for 152.
Auckland's bowlers put in a collective effort. Andre Adams picked up three wickets, so did Bates, Kyle Mills chipped in with two and Ronnie Hira and Bruce Martin nipped out one each.