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Aces aim for clean sweep at home


Friday 9 November 2018


The Auckland Aces are keen to make their home advantage count when they host the Central Stags tomorrow.

The Aces are three from three at home, and it will be a welcome return to Eden Park after a heavy loss against the Wellington Firebirds at the Basin Reserve.

Auckland Aces coach Mark O’Donnell says the match on Wednesday was a good wake-up call.

“We’ve achieved excellent results under pressure,” he says.

“But the guys realise that to pull off a win in the final over, we first need to get to that final over.”

Now sitting third behind Wellington and Otago on the Ford Trophy ladder, Auckland’s narrow wins mean they are yet to pick up a bonus point.

O’Donnell says bonus points don’t enter into their match plans.

“They’re not something we go out to try and get.”

“Obviously they’re important in terms of position on the table, but as soon as you let something like that enter into your preparation you lose focus on batting and bowling well to pick up a win.”

The Aces have made two changes to the squad that played Wellington, bringing in Raj Majithia for Finn Allen, and Ronnie Hira to replace spinner Will Somerville.

Somerville was called up to join the BLACKCAPS test squad, currently preparing to face Pakistan in the UAE.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Will, and definitely deserved,” says O’Donnell.

“Obviously we would have liked to play him against the Stags, but it’s part of the game at this level, and we’ll adjust.”

The Auckland Aces will play the Central Stags at Eden Park Outer Oval from 11:00am tomorrow.

Auckland Aces Squad to face Central Districts:
Craig Cachopa (C)
Michael Barry
Graeme Beghin
Jamie Brown
Danru Ferns
Roneel Hira
Ben Horne (wk)
Raj Majithia
Mitchell McClenaghan
Will O’Donnell
Michael Snedden
Sean Solia

ends

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