Gareth Hopkins will lead the Auckland Aces in the 2011 Champions League T20 competition to be held in India. (AFP)
New Delhi: Auckland Aces will represent the team from New Zealand in the third edition of the Champions League T20 competition to be held in India from September 19 - October 8.
The Gareth Hopkins led side will play back to back qualifying games against Kolkata Knight Riders and Somerset on the 19th and 20th in an effort to make it to the group stage of the tournament which gets underway on September 23.
The Aces pipped Central Stags by four runs in the finals of the HRV Cup, the T20 domestic competition of New Zealand which enabled them to qualify for the third edition of the CL T20 tournament.
Interestingly, the Stags qualified for the 2010 tourney held in South Africa where they went on to lose all their four matches.
The Aces will be looking to give a better account of themselves and provide the Kiwi supporters something to cheer about this time around.
They were in scintillating form throughout the HRV Cup, winning seven of their eleven matches with two games getting abandoned because of rain.
They opened their campaign against the Stags and beat them by 50 runs at the Colin Maiden Park.
Former New Zealand player Andre Adams took 5/20 as the Stags were bowled out for 104 after the Aces scored 154/8 in their 20 overs.
The Aces had a disappointing outing against the Northern Knights, getting mauled by eight wickets after being shot out for 74 in 18.5 overs.
The Auckland Aces then went on to win their next five fixtures, beating Otago Volts, Northern Knights, Wellington Firebirds and Canterbury Wizards twice before going to Central Stags.
The Aces however went on to win the summit clash against the Stags after putting up 158/8 and restricting their opposition to 154/9, thereby booking their place in the 2011 Champions League competition.