Auckland openers on song

A century stand from openers Tim McIntosh and Richard Jones helped State Auckland Aces to 259 for four at stumps against State Canterbury Wizards.

McIntosh (76) and Aces skipper Jones (80) put on 135 for the first wicket at Christchurch’s QEII Park.

Middle-order duo Martin Guptill and Rob Nicol (41 not out) also contributed, but there was no starring role for Gareth Hopkins in his maiden first-class innings for the Aces,

Hopkins was bowled by Andrew Ellis eighth ball without scoring, but the Aces still progressed to 259 for four after Jones elected to bat.

Ellis took two for 13 runs, while Iain Robertson claimed McIntosh’s wicket from a 24.1 over shift and leg-spinner Todd Astle removed Guptill.

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