Aces upset the Knights in Twenty20 opener

The State Auckland Aces have put their unexceptional form in the one-day competition behind them to beat the Northern Knights by five wickets at Eden Park’s Outer Oval in Auckland.

Big hitting Aces all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme opened the batting and struck 36 off 20 before a mini collapse saw the home side staring down the barrel at 79 for five.

The experienced Gareth Hopkins combined with Anaru Kitchen to steer the Aces home with an unbeaten 71 run partnership for the sixth wicket, reaching the target of 148 with eight balls to spare.

Hopkins was the more aggressive partner making an unbeaten 38 off 26 with Kitchen making a fluid 33 off 32.

The pick of the Northern attack was wiley left-arm spinner Bruce Martin who took three for 16 off his four.

Earlier, the Northern Knights built their innings around wicket-keeper batsman Peter McGlashan’s 52 which included four boundaries and three sixes.

Michael Parlane with the next best with 30 but there was little else from the State Shield champions.

Opening bowler Chris Martin was impressive taking one for 14 off with Azhar Abbas and de Grandhomme collecting two scalps each.

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