Our prediction is Auckland Aces to win the match!
Super Smash League reaches the final phase of the league stage and technically five teams are still in contention for the next round!
Canterbury Kings has no chance to qualify for the next phase and their campaign gets over at the league phase. Now, Canterbury has no pressure and will look to spoil the party for the other team`s chances. Skipper McConchie will be left without the services of Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Matt Henry, who take up the national duty in the ODI series against the Indian team.
Andrew Ellis is expected to partner Chad Bowes at the top and Stephen Murdough is expected to be back in the playing XI. McConchie has been the lone bright light in the middle order batting with others failing to make a significant contribution. Leo Carter and Cam Fletcher can at least now play freely without the pressure of losing the game. Kylie Jamieson would be pace spearhead in the absence of Matt Henry. Ed Nuttall, Andrew Ellis and Henry Shipley will share the pace bowling duties alongside him. Impressive Todd Astle will be the frontline spinner in the team.
Auckland Aces are well placed in the qualification for the knockout phase, but they are closely followed by Otago and Wellington. They will look to win as many matches to seal their spot in the knockouts and they have the unlucky team as two of their matches ended as no-results so far. Auckland too will miss the services of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Lockie Ferguson owing to their national duties.
Captain Craig Cachopa will be their batting mainstay and he was in scintillating form last match scoring 73 runs in just 38 balls. Glenn Philips, Robert O Dennel and Mark Chapman form the vital cog of the batting order. William Somerwille, Ronnie Hira and Donovan Grobbledaar will provide some fireworks towards the innings end. Mitchell McCleanagan has been their best bowler and is picking up wickets at crucial junctures. Mathew Quinn and Grobbledaar has been bowling economically by giving runs at just over 6 RPO. Ronnie Hira and William Somerwille will share the spin bowling responsibilities in the middle overs.
Todd Astle – Todd Astle has been impressive with his leg spinners and selectors are having a close eye on his bowling. His good performances might tempt them to give him a chance in Kiwi colors.
Kylie Jamieson – Despite their team`s poor season, Jamieson has bowled well and has been the highest wicket taker so far. He will look to continue his rich form and get as many wickets as possible.
Stats from the tournament:
Cole McConchie– 221 runs at strike rate 144 (HS – 83, 50s-1)
Kylie Jamieson – 14 wickets at an economy of 7.9 RPO (BB –6/7) – Highest Wicket taker
Cole McConchie(C), Chad Bowes, Andrew Ellis, Stephen Murdough, Cam Fletcher (Wk), Kylie Jamieson, Leo Carter, Ed Nuttall, Todd Astle, Henry Shipley, Jeremy Benton.
Henry Shipley, Jeremy Benton and Stephen Murdough will replace Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Matt Henry in the playing XI. Canterbury are forced to make the changes in the absence of their Kiwi regulars.
Glenn Philips – The Keeper batsmen has to step up his batting in the absence of their senior players and needs to make contribution to the team`s total in a big way.
Mathew Quinn – Quinn has been their most economical bowler in the tournament so far by giving away runs at just 6.4 RPO. He strangles the opposition batsmen with his immaculate line and length.
Stats from the tournament:
Craig Cachopa – 142 runs at strike rate 154 (HS –73, 50s-1)
Mitchell McCleanaghan – 11 wickets at an economy of 8 RPO (BB – 3/23)- Second Highest Wicket taker
Craig Cachopa(C), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Glenn Philips(Wk), Mark Chapman, Robert O Donnell, Graham Beghin, Mathew McCleanagan, Mathew Quinn, Donovan Grobbledaar, Ronnie Hira, William Somerwille.
Auckland is expected to go in with the same playing XI. Glenn Philips and Bell-Drummond form their new batting opening pair in the absence of Guptill and Munro.
The dew factor may come into play. Hagley Oval pitch is known to be good batting pitch here batsmen enjoy batting. Scores in the range of 180-200 runs will be scored easily. No target seems safe in this match as pitch remains good for batting in both the innings
The ball might be hard to grip for the bowlers in second innings due to the wet ball, so both captains will look to bat first. Teams bating second has won the two matches played here so far in this year`s league games. Northern Knights chased down the target of 194 runs easily last match.
Auckland Aces are in good form despite missing their main players whereas Canterbury’s poor form gets worse by the return of the Kiwi regulars to the national set up. Furthermore, Canterbury has lost both the matches they played here this year.
So we expect Auckland Aces to win this match.
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