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Tuesday, 15 February 2011
The Aces will have to put their one day championship victory behind them and return quickly to four day mode when they travel to Wellington for their fourth round Plunket Shield clash with the Wellington Firebirds starting on Thursday.
It will be a different looking side that took out the final against Canterbury with Lou Vincent having ended his stint with the Aces, Daryl Tuffey being rested, and Gareth Hopkins on paternity leave for the birth of his second child. Test opener Tim McIntosh and all-rounder Colin Munro are also both unavailable through injury.
The three new faces coming into the twelve for the game at the Basin Reserve are all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, off spinner Bhupinder Singh, and top order batsman Andrew de Boorder who also takes over the captaincy in the absence of Hopkins.
Aces coach Paul Strang is confident that his side will be ready for the different challenge that the longer format brings.
"It's a transition that we've talked about for a while and have really concentrated on with the guys. It'll be up to them on Thursday to make sure that they put that mental adjustment into practice."
The Aces made a slow start to the Plunket Shield before Christmas and Strang is aware that they need to hit the ground running as the competition recommences.
"We played some really good cricket in those first three games but lost the important hours or sessions that cost us points. The focus for us will be to ensure that we improve our consistency and win those crucial parts of the game."
The twelve for Thursday's game against the Wellington Firebirds is as follows:
Andre Adams (Overseas Professional)
Michael Bates (Suburbs New Lynn)
Brad Cachopa (wk) (Takapuna)
Andrew de Boorder (Captain) (Howick Pakuranga)
Colin de Grandhomme (Howick Pakuranga)
Roneel Hira (North Shore)
Anaru Kitchen (Waitakere City)
Chris Martin (Parnell)
Jimmy Neesham (Suburbs New Lynn)
Jeet Raval (Suburbs New Lynn)
Bhupinder Singh (Papatoetoe)
Greg Todd (Howick Pakuranga)
Contacts: Paul Strang 021 840877
Click HERE to see player profiles/records
Click HERE to see the Aces playing schedule.
Follow the Auckland Aces at www.aucklandcricket.co.nz