Press Release – Auckland Cricket
Monday 20 March 2017
The Auckland Aces have named a strong XII to travel down to Dunedin and take on the Otago Volts in Round Nine of the Plunket Shield starting tomorrow.
Colin Munro returns to the side with Donovan Grobbelaar dropping out, the only change to the team who beat Northern Districts last week.
The victory against Northern at Eden Park Outer Oval shot the Aces up the points table into second spot, sitting just in behind Canterbury.
It was a much-needed win for the Aucklanders after an up and down season thus far, several younger squad members stepping up in the infancy of their careers.
Bowling coach Azhar Abbas is delighted with how the youth and experience of the side is gelling together.
“We have a great mix of senior players and new faces performing, like Raja Sandhu in the first innings [against Northern], everyone contributed to this performance,” Abbas says.
Tarun Nethula was influential in the final session against Northern on his way to another five-wicket bag and will again play a key part against the Volts in Dunedin.
“Tarun is an experienced bowler for us and he shows his class season after season. It’s great to have someone like him in the team,” says Abbas.
Glenn Phillips was also praised by head coach Mark O’Donnell after last week’s performance, when Phillips brought up his maiden First-Class hundred he became the first New Zealand domestic player to score a century in a T20, List A and First-Class season.
“It’s great to see a good young player taking his opportunity. It’s unusual to have played international cricket before playing First Class cricket but I guess David Warner did it so that’s not a bad one to follow,” says Aces coach Mark O’Donnell.
With plenty still to play for, the Aces will be looking for a dominant showing against the Volts before they finish their season in Napier against Central Districts.
The Aces start their Round Nine fixture tomorrow against the Otago Volts, first ball at 10:30am.
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Rob Nicol (c)