Cricket

Auckland ace 176 chase with Phillips, Nicol fifties

Auckland 176 for 3 (Phillips 62*, Nicol 51) beat Otago 175 for 7 (Finnie 45*, Rutherford 42, Grobbelaar 2-32, de Grandhomme 2-32) by seven wickets
Scorecard

File photo – Rob Nicol dominated an opening stand of 71 to set up Auckland’s successful chase of 176 © Getty Images

Half-centuries from opening batsmen Rob Nicol and Glenn Phillips steered Auckland to a seven-wicket win, as they chased down 176 in their Super Smash clash against Otago. Auckland also benefited from handy cameos by Colin de Grandhomme (30 off 14) and Jeet Raval (21 off 12) as they chased the target with two overs to spare at the University Oval in Dunedin. Otago had put up 175 for 7 after winning the toss, riding on contributions from the middle order.

Nicol dominated the opening partnership of of 71, scoring 51 of those himself. He was stumped off Rhys Phillips’ leg spin in the ninth over, having struck three fours and as many sixes in his 36-ball knock. Glenn Phillips then shared partnerships of 51 with Raval for the second wicket and 38 with de Grandhomme for the third. He saw his team through by staying not out on 62 off 44 balls that included five fours and two sixes.

Earlier, Otago’s middle order pulled them from 13 for 2 in the second over to 175. Hamish Rutherford, the captain, struck 42 off 27 balls and shared a 36-run fourth-wicket stand with Josh Finnie, who top-scored with an unbeaten 45. A late cameo from Brad Wilson who blitzed 30 off 15 balls gave them a strong finish.

Pacers De Grandhomme and Donovan Grobbelaar took two wickets each, while left-arm spinner Ben Horne took one. The win, Auckland’s fifth in nine matches, took them to second place on the points table.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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