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Guptill back, Delport on cusp of debut

Guptill back, Delport on cusp of debut

The Auckland Aces host the second placed Wellington Firebirds in their final Plunket Shield fixture of the season at Eden Park Outer Oval on Monday.

Martin Guptill rejoins the Aces after being on Test duty while East Coast Bays’ Louis Delport is a potential debutant after a strong season for his club and Auckland A.

“Adding someone like Martin back into the team really lifts the whole group. We have all seen him play some dynamic innings in both Auckland and New Zealand colours,” says Captain Michael Guptill-Bunce.

“Louis is a top bloke and has toiled hard with the A’s this year. He is the leading wicket taker in club cricket so fully deserves his chance if selected.”

The Aces sit in third place on the Plunket Shield ladder while the Firebirds are a spot above on second.

“We can’t finish any higher than third but that’s not to say we aren’t going out there on Monday to play our best cricket. Personal pride is on the line as well as vying for positions next year,” says Guptill-Bunce.

The Firebirds will no doubt come hard at the Aces with the Wellington side just four points behind competition leaders Central Districts.

“Wellington are a quality side and have a chance to win the competition so we will have to be on our game if we want to compete,” says Coach Mark O’Donnell.

“We weren’t good enough in our last match in Dunedin with bat or ball so the boys will be wanting to prove their abilities against one of the competitions best.”

In an intriguing sub plot to the final round of Plunket Shield action, Auckland’s Matt McEwan sits in second spot on the wicket taking charts with 36 wickets.

He sits behind Central’s Ajaz Patel who is on 42 wickets with McEwan wanting to finish the season on a high.

"The boys are looking to bounce back strongly after a couple of disappointing performances," he says.

"It would also be nice to finish with a couple of good personal performances. The lads have had a great season and to finish with a win would be a superb start to the off season."

The Aces host the Wellington Firebirds on Monday, first ball 10:30am.

Auckland Aces v Wellington Firebirds
Monday 2 April
Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland

Auckland Aces
Michael Guptill-Bunce (c)
Mark Chapman
Louis Delport
Lockie Ferguson
Danru Ferns
Martin Guptill
Ben Horne
Ben Lister
Matt McEwan
Robbie O’Donnell
Glenn Phillips
Sean Solia

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