19 Jan 2013

Firebirds beat Aces to book maiden HRV Cup final

7:11 am on 19 January 2013

The Wellington Firebirds have beaten the Auckland Aces by 23 runs to book their place in tomorrow's HRV Cup Twenty20 final against the Otago Volts in Dunedin.

The visitors finished on 159 for eight in reply to the Firebirds' 182 for four.

Jesse Ryder starred again with a blazing opening cameo with the bat at the Basin Reserve, before picking up the pivotal wicket that saw the Firebirds reach an HRV Cup final for the first time.

Ryder hit a quickfire 17-ball 46 in just three overs including 10 boundaries then took two for 32 in the late stages of the absorbing battle, as the two-time defending champion Aces came under rising pressure.

Ryder's victims with the ball included Auckland big-hitter Colin de Grandhomme for just 18, which left the Aces at 128 for six and needing a run-rate of over 23, which proved impossible.