Aces book home final

David Houpapa’s rapid half-century secured State Auckland Aces a second successive State Twenty20 home final.

The Aces will host Sunday’s final after completing a 19-run victory over State Central Stags at Eden Park’s Outer Oval.

Houpapa, a Western Australia age group representative, made 74 from just 31 balls as Auckland posted an impressive 212 for six batting first.

Houpapa’s knock included seven fours and four sixes, while BLACKCAPS all-rounder Scott Styris provided a brief cameo with four sixes from consecutive balls for 25 from nine deliveries.

Openers Paul Hitchcock (33) and Martin Guptill (38) provided initial impetus with 64 from 7.2 overs, while Greg Hegglun and Robbie Schaw took two wickets each for the Stags.

BLACKCAPS opener Jamie How dominated a first-wicket partnership of 79 with pinch-hitter Ewen Thompson.

Andre Adams removed How and Peter Ingram in consecutive deliveries, and Styris accounted for Mathew Sinclair, caught Chris Martin for 23.

A half-century stand between Bevan Griggs (34) and Greg Hay (38 not out) carried the fight to the hosts, but the Stags could not sustain the 10-plus over-rate required to win.

Auckland will host State Otago Volts in the State Twenty20 final at Eden Park's Outer Oval on Sunday 4 February.

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