There were unbelievable scenes at Eden Park Outer Oval when Colin de Grandhomme continued his smashing season by blasting 30 runs off a single over.
The big allrounder showed no mercy when the Canterbury Kings’ young offspinner Jeremy Benton came into the attack — blasting 6, 2, 6, 4, 6 and 6 as he slammed the Aces home to victory, and back to the top of the table after temporarily having been overtaken by the Stags in Nelson.
De Grandhomme’s T20 career best unbeaten 72 off just 35 balls (seven sixes, two fours) dominated an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 81 off 42 with Sean Solia, the undefeated Aces showing once again that they are running even hotter than when they won the title last season.
It wasn’t just with the bat that they were ferocious. Leg-spinner Tarun Nethula showed his tricks with a superb 4-18 off his four overs — also a T20 career best, Donovan Grobbelaar (3-26) and Tymal Mills (3-22) had a fund day Sunday too and it was only the Kings’ king Andy Ellis and Cameron Fletcher who really gave the visiting side a chance of a defendable tally on the ground.
Ellis bludgeoned 35 off 16 balls and Fletcher 37 off 25 before the tail fell apart and the Kings were all out for 150 on the last ball of their 20 overs.
It was still going to be a challenging total to defend, but their quick Ed Nuttall made a top start with 3-17 off his four overs’ work (yep, another career best) — suddenly putting the Kings into a winning position. Or at least, it would have been a winning position, against any other team without a bug man called de Grandhomme. It was apparent he couldn’t wait to get out there and start attacking the total and the Kings knew they could count no chickens until he was gone.
The Aces’ home crowd was enthralled as the bombs rained down one after another, their exciting side tearing away in the end to a big five-wicket win.