Knights in flight pattern
Published on 06 Jan 2019
Knights 155-9 in 20 overs (Daryl Mitchell 78, Mitchell McClenaghan 3-23, Donovan Grobbelaar 3-29) beat Auckland Aces 153-9 in 20 overs (Craig Cachopa 39, Will Somerville 37, Scott Kuggeleijn 4-18) by two runs at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
The Knights return to the top of the BK Super Smash table with a two run win over the Aces that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. Daryl Mitchell's 78 was the backbone of the home team's innings in the face of some hostile Aces bowling, while the Knights were able to take wickets at crucial times and take the win despite some late Will Somerville hitting.
Mitchell McClenaghan (3-23) wrecked havoc at the top of the innings with a fiery display, removing dangerous Knights openers Anton Devcich LBW for six and and Dean Brownlie caught and bowled for 12.
Donovan Grobbelaar (3-29) picked up where McClenaghan left off, and was on a hat trick after removing Mitchell Santner (12) and Daniel Flynn (0) in successive balls.
As wickets fell in the lower order, Mitchell's 78 from just 51 balls proved crucial and his promotion to first drop proved a master stroke as the Knights were able to make it to 155-9.
In reply, the Aces started brightly with Sean Solia (20) and Glenn Phillips (20) combining for 32 after losing James Vince early for one.
Mitchell Santner wrestled the momentum back for the home team by removing Phillips and Mark Chapman in the ninth over - skipper Craig Cachopa then strode out to try and win the match in a hurry, hitting some big blows as he raced to 39 from 17 before he was caught by Dean Brownlie in the covers from Devcich to deal the Aces' hopes a body blow.
Some late Somerville hitting almost provided a twist in the tale, but Scott Kuggeleijn, who had steamed in all day, took three wickets in the 17th over to end the contest and help his team back to the top of the table.