Our prediction is Auckland Aces to witn the place for the final!
Auckland team has peaked at the right time and is winning matches both away and home continuously. Their top order of Glenn Philips, Mark Chapman, Craig Cachopa , Bell-Drummond and Colin Munro have scored fifties in last two matches and are in good rhythm with the bat. Their batting line-up looks at their best with all the top six batsmen performing well. Mathew Quinn and Mitchell McCleanaghan have been bowling well at the start and getting early wickets to make inroads in opposition line up. Spinners Ronnie Hira and William Somerwille have applied the choke in the run rate in the middle overs.
Central Districts suffer a blip in form and has lost two of their last three matches. Ironically, the losses came against the other two teams in knockouts Auckland and Northern Knights. They will look to make a repeat of last year`s finals where they lost against Northern Knights. George Worker, Josh Clarkson and Dean Foxcroft have been amongst the runs recently and are in good form. Skipper Tom Bruce is having a silent couple of matches after a great start to the tournament with the bat. Bowling has been their main concern in the last few matches. Blair Tickner has been their pick of the bowlers so far picking wickets consistently. Ben Wheeler and Ajaz Patel struggling to find control in their line and length and are leaking ruins at a high economy rate.
Daniel Bell Drummond – Bell-Drummond is in scintillating form scoring two fifties in the four matches he played. He scores at a strike rate of around 135.
Ronnie Hira – Hira has been excellent in controlling the run flow in the middle overs and has taken wickets at regular intervals. His exploits at the middle overs will strangle the opposition score.
Stats from the league:
Craig Cachopa – 207 runs at strike rate 155 (HS-73, 50s-2)
Mitchell McCleanaghan - 15 wickets at an economy of 9 rpo (BB- 3/233/23)
Daniel Bell-Drummond, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips(w), Craig Cachopa(c), Robert ODonnell, Colin Munro, Donovan Grobbelaar, Ronnie Hira, William Somerville, Mitchell McClenaghan, Matthew Quinn
George Worker – Worker has provided good atrt at the top with the scores of 44 and 52 in last two matches respectively. His batting at the top may set the rhythm of their batting innings.
Ben Wheeler – After a good start, Wheeler is having a bad time with bowling and is leaking runs consistently in last 3-4 matches. He needs to step up his bowling in the knockout phase.
Stats from the league:
Tom Bruce – 308 runs at strike rate 161 (HS -88*, 50s-2)
Blair Tickner – 15 wickets at an economy of 8.1 rpo (BB – 3/15)
George Worker, Will Young, Dean Foxcroft, Tom Bruce(C& Wk), Josh Clarkson, Doug Bracewell, Ben Wheeler, Ajaz Patel, Blair Tickner, Seth Rance, Adam Milne
The match is scheduled to start at local time 4:10 PM local time. The Auckland pitch is a paradise for the batsmen with huge runs scored usually. Average score in this ground is 180 runs. The pitch will remain the same during the entire duration of the match.
Auckland has won both their matches against Central Districts chasing and Auckland is a ground where any score can be chased down easily. Both skippers will look to bowl first here in the important match.