24 Feb 2018

Auckland claim domestic one-day crown

6:05 pm on 24 February 2018

Auckland are the New Zealand domestic one-day cricket competition champions for the 2017-18 season, romping to a six-wicket victory over Central Districts in the final in New Plymouth.

The Auckland Aces are the 2017-18 Ford Trophy champions.

The Auckland Aces are the 2017-18 Ford Trophy champions. Photo: Photosport

After losing just one of their seven round robin matches to qualify top for Saturday's title-decider on home turf at Pukekura Park, the Stags were favourites to lift the silverware.

Auckland, though, paid no attention to that as standout performances from a handful of Black Caps led the Aces to victory with more than 17 overs to spare.

Batting first after winning the toss, CD were bundled out for just 197 in the 47th over.

Black Caps fast bowler Lockie Ferguson was exceptional for Auckland, taking 3-28 from his 9.4 overs, while all-rounder Mark Chapman snared 3-41 from eight with his left-arm off-spin.

Former Black Caps leg-spinner Tarun Nethula also played his part, bagging two wickets and conceding just 24 runs from his 10 overs.

Outside of solid contributions from captain Will Young and Black Caps duo Tom Bruce and Doug Bracewell, the Stags scorecard made for sorry reading for their fans.

Young and Bruce both made 49 and Bracewell hit 40, but no other batsman got past 20 and six were removed for single figures.

Auckland's chase started in emphatic fashion and gave them one hand on the trophy, New Zealand test opener Jeet Raval and recently dropped Black Caps T20 batsman Glenn Phillips putting on 84 in 90 balls.

Raval eventually fell for 47, and there was a slim glimmer of hope for CD when No 3 Sean Solia came and went at 93-2.

But a 68-run third-wicket stand between Phillips and Chapman all but ended the Stags chances of victory, the former on his way for an impressive 63 and Chapman dismissed for 47 as the Aces moved well within sight of the title.

Robbie O'Donnell (22 not out) and skipper Craig Cachopa (10 not out) completed the job for Auckland, O'Donnell putting the final nail in the coffin with a six over square-leg.

Seam bowlers Ben Wheeler and Blair Tickner shared the wickets for CD, claiming two apiece.