Cricket: Washout gives Auckland Aces men's Super Smash title, as Canterbury Kings' horror run continues

Auckland Aces have been crowned Super Smash men's champions, albeit in deflating circumstances after Sunday's final against Canterbury Kings was rained off.  

With less than 15 overs bowled in the decider at Eden Park, Auckland's position as top qualifier sees them handed the trophy.  

The washout gives Auckland the title for the fifth time, and first since 2016, when the Aces defeated Otago Volts by 20 runs in New Plymouth.  

Failure to complete the match is another blow for Canterbury, who have now finished on the wrong side of the last four successive finals - one to Wellington, and two to Northern Brave prior to Sunday.  

"It's a challenging one isn't it?" said Aces captain Robbie O'Donnell. "We knew the position we were in, but it is unfortunate.  

"It doesn't quite feel the same, not getting the game in.  

"But at the end of the day, it's the hand we were dealt. We can't control that side of things.  

"I'm super proud of the boys and the campaign they've put together to have us here today."  

Before the rain, the Kings appeared on course for a sizable total, as opener Tom Latham launched five sixes on his way to an unbeaten 58 from just 33 balls.  

Dropped Blackcaps teammate Henry Nicholls added 42 from 35, as the pair put on 90 runs for the second wicket.  

But as the heavens opened with the score at 133/2, Mother Nature had the final say, and sent those who braved the Auckland weather to attend home with no result.    

Rain had already affected the finals day at Eden Park, seeing the women's final reduced to a 17-overs per side affair, won by Wellington Blaze.  

Despite the result in the final, Auckland still won six of 10 games to top the table, and secure the right to host the decider on their home ground.