Guptill century steers Aces into final

Otago batter Luke Georgeson celebrates after bringing up his century with a four in the Ford...
Otago batter Luke Georgeson celebrates after bringing up his century with a four in the Ford Trophy elimination final against Auckland at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Remember Guppy — the former international, Martin Guptill, who blazed 23 centuries across three formats for New Zealand?

He might not be wanted by the Black Caps any more but he can still play.

The 37-year-old stroked 102 from 83 balls to set up a four-wicket win for Auckland against Otago in the Ford Trophy elimination final in Dunedin yesterday.

The Aces will go on to play Canterbury in Saturday’s final at Hagley Oval, while the Volts will lament not pushing a little harder when they had the chance.

The home team posted 276 on what was a used pitch.

Luke Georgeson’s extraordinary month got even more remarkable. He scored 120 to go with the two five-wickets bags he has claimed in the past two weeks.

But the Volts’ innings lost too much momentum and the efforts made to revive it came too late.

Auckland, powered on by Guptill at first and then Robbie O’Donnell, who also scored a century, paced their chase beautifully.

There was a late flurry of wickets, but the visitors were never under any real pressure.

Guptill, who injured his calf while batting and hobbled from end to end for the majority of his knock, rolled back the years, clobbering four sixes and 12 boundaries. It was a salient reminder of his class.

O’Donnell, who played a supporting role in his 109-run partnership with Guptill, notched his third list A century with a six off Georgeson but was dismissed next ball for 104.

For a pitch hosting its sixth game, it certainly played well.

Georgeson took on the challenge of hitting through the ball and plundered a couple of boundaries from the first over.

He should have departed for 27, though. The 24-year-old chipped a delivery from Angus Olliver straight to Danru Ferns at mid-on, but he grassed it.

Jacob Cumming had the odd nervous moments as well. But the pair were mostly in control and got the Volts off to their best start of the campaign.

They put on 110 before Cumming feathered a top edge to the keeper for 46.

Auckland stayed in the battle, though. They never let the run rate take flight.

It felt like the Volts let the game drift a bit too long before embracing a more ambitious approach.

The wickets of Dean Foxcroft (26) and Dale Phillips (7) did not help the home side, and Georgeson’s fine knock came to an end around the same time.

Max Chu whacked a much-needed 26 from 12, and Thorn Parkes, who normally bats in the middle order, made his point at No9 with 21 from 10. He was unselfishly run out last ball trying to steal a single for the team.

Andrew Hazeldine struck early for Otago. Auckland captain Sean Solia swivelled into a pull shot and succeeded in gloving the ball on to his stumps.

The Aces quickly recovered from the setback thanks to Guptill.

He had some good fortune registering his century.

Jacob Duffy returned to the attack to snaffle a breakthrough. He dug it in and Guptill launched into a pull shot.

Cries of "catch it" echoed around the ground. And for a brief moment there was hope it would carry to Parkes at deep square leg.

His departure offered the Volts a lifeline but O’Donnell took over.


L Georgeson c Fletcher b McKenzie 120

J Cumming c Fletcher b McKenzie 46

D Foxcroft lbw Delport 26

D Phillips c Guptill b Olliver 7

L Johnson b Lister 12

M Chu c O'Donnell b Lister 26

B Lockrose c Briggs b Ferns 5

A Hazeldine c Fletcher b Ferns 1

T Parkes run out (Fletcher) 21

J Duffy c Briggs b Ferns 1

M Bacon not out 0

Extras (1lb, 10w) 11

Total (all out, 50 overs) 276

Fall: 1-110, 2-186, 3-208, 4-208, 5-247, 6-248, 7-252, 8-271, 9-276, 10-276.

Bowling: D Ferns 8-0-42-3 (3w), B Lister 10-0-75-2 (1w), A Olliver 9-0-51-1 (3w), L Delport 10-0-53-1 )1w), J McKenzie 9-1-35-2 (2w), W O’Donnell 4-0-19-0.


S Solia b Hazeldine 2

M Guptill c Georgeson b Foxcroft 102

C Briggs c Parkes b Duffy 24

R O'Donnell c Chu b Georgeson 104

W O'Donnell run out (Johnson/Chu) 28

C Fletcher not out 3

J McKenzie st Chu b Foxcroft 1

D Ferns not out 1

Extras (lb 1, w 9, nb 2) 12

Total (6 wkts, 48.3 overs) 277

Fall: 1-5, 2-76, 3-185, 4-265, 5-271, 6-275.

Bowling: A Hazeldine 8-0-48-1 (5w, 2nb), J Duffy 10-0-43-1 (1w), M Bacon 4-0-51-0 (1w), B Lockrose 10-0-59-0, L Georgeson 6.3-0-34-1, D Foxcroft 10-1-41-2 (2w).

Result: Auckland won by four wickets.