Cricket returned to the outer oval at Eden Park for the first
time in four years today and, for Auckland, it was good to be
Long the home of Auckland cricket, Eden Park's No 2 has been
out of action since the redevelopment to ready the stadium
for the Rugby World Cup began in 2008.
The Aces have since been playing their home games at Colin
Maiden Park in Glen Innes, but today they were back with a
bang for the first day of their Plunket Shield match against
After Auckland captain Gareth Hopkins won the toss and sent
in the visitors, his decision was quickly vindicated as his
side restricted the Knights to just 208 in their first
Auckland's openers then successfully negotiated 14 overs late
in the afternoon to put the hosts in a strong position at
It could have been an even better day for Auckland were it
not for ND opener Joseph Yovich. The veteran allrounder
provided the defending champions' only resistance with a
battling century to contribute more than half of the Knights'
Yovich batted for five hours to bring up his fifth first
class ton and save his side from potential embarrassment.
Only four other batsmen made double figures, with James
Marshall's 24 the next best effort, as Auckland carved
through the batting order to snare all four bowling bonus
The chief destroyer for Auckland was former ND spinner Bruce
Martin who picked up four wickets, while Michael Bates and
Colin de Grandhomme chipped in with two each.
Tim McIntosh (14no) and Lou Vincent (25no) then capped the
happy homecoming by seeing the Aces through to 40-0 loss at
the close of play, leaving them 168 runs behind with their
full complement of wickets in hand.
- Kris Shannon of APNZ