Cricket: Spectator catch steals show as Auckland Aces roll Northern Brave in Super Smash

As Northern Brave struggled to defend a paltry Super Smash score against Auckland Aces, a spectacular spectator catch on the Bay Oval bank briefly lifted the spirits of home fans at Mt Maunganui.

Missing many of their Blackcaps stars on duty against Pakistan, the Brave could manage only 121 runs before they were dismissed in the 19th of their 20 overs, with only a 66-run stand between Joe Carter and Brett Hampton for the fifth wicket providing any resistance.

Spectator makes a spectacular catch at Bay Oval.
Spectator makes a spectacular catch at Bay Oval. Photo credit: TVNZ

As the Aces batters cruised towards their target, Sean Solia smashed five sixes in his unbeaten 67, including the winning maximum off international test bowler Neil Wagner for victory.

At 60/2, Solia latched onto a deliver from spinner Tim Pringle, sending it high over the fence, where it was greeted by an eager fan.

Replays show he spilled the catch onto his lap as he fell backwards, but was able to flick the ball off his foot and gathered on second attempt.

"Crowd catch of the season so far," declared commentators.

"I don't know if that was intentional," wondered former Blackcaps allrounder Grant Elliott. "No doubt that footage will be shown by all his friends during the summer."

Moments later, the newfound celebrity could be seen approached by Brave staff, adding to speculation over an immediate call-up.

The eight-wicket defeat has left Northern Brave at the foot of the competition table with just one win from six games and all but out of contention for the playoffs.