Our prediction is Wellington will Win the Match!
Canterbury Kings and Wellington Firebirds will be up against each other in their final league match of the 14th edition of Super Smash, a domestic T20 tournament in New Zealand. The match will be played at Hagley Oval which is home ground for Canterbury Kings.
With playoff qualifications already decided this is going to be a dead rubber at the Christchurch. With 5 losses and a washout, the Firebirds have managed 14 points until now. The Kings, on the other hand, are at the bottom of the table with just 2 wins in 9 games so far in the tournament.
Dead rubber does not always mean a dull game. Both the teams would want to register a win for the final time before they sign off from the tournament.
The 14th edition of Super Smash series has been poor for Canterbury Kings. Their overall record at Super Smash hasn’t been that great either. Where all the other Super Smash teams have won the tournament twice, the Kings could only win it once way back in the opening season in 2005-06.
Except for the win against the Aces early in the tournament and the one at home against Otago Volts, which came too late for their liking, the Kings do not have much to show for this season. The defeat in three of the four home matches defines the season for them.
Although the Kings are out of the tournament they have a chance to finish on a high against Wellington Firebirds at home. Captain McConchie and co would be remembering the 65 run mauling that Firebirds handed them earlier in the series and must be keen to turn the tables in a home game on Saturday to have the consolation win.
CE McConchie (c), CJ Bowes, TJ MacRury, SJ Murdoch, CD Fletcher, KA Jamieson, HB Shipley, AM Ellis, JTA Benton, WSA Williams, EJ Nuttall.
Jeremy Benton, Leo Carter, TD Astle, Will Williams, Chad Bowes, Cameron Fletcher, Stephen Murdoch, Andrew Ellis, Cole McConchie, Ed Nuttall, Kyle Jamieson
Wellington Firebirds have been two-time winners in the last four editions of the Super Smash tournament. Northern Knights, Auckland Aces, and Central Stags have secured the first three spots for playoff qualifications leaving the Firebirds stranded at the 4th spot.
Wellington Firebirds have managed 3 wins in 9 matches which was not enough for them to qualify in the playoffs. The Firebirds must rue the match against Auckland that was abandoned because of rain and the one against Otago Volts that the lost by just 1 run. A different result in these matches would have secured them a place in the playoffs or at least kept them in contention.
Devon Conway and Michael Bracewell have been good with the bat this season whereas Captain Hamish Bennett and Ben Sears have led the bowling attack well. The Firebirds must be keen to produce a match-winning performance on the back of these players to sign the series off on a high.
HK Bennett (c), DP Conway, MG Bracewell, TA Blundell, TM Johnson, LJ Woodcock, R Ravindra, LV van Beek, OR Newton, JS Patel, BV Sears.
Hamish Bennett, Rachin Ravindra, TA Blundell, Luke Woodcock, Ollie Newton, Malcolm Nofal, Michael Bracewell, Jeetan Patel, Lauchie Johns, Devon Conway, Logan van Beek
Hagley Oval at Christchurch has proven to be good chasing wicket so far in this season. The teams batting second have won 3 of the 4 games at this venue this season. The pitch seems to be staying true till the end for the chasing teams.
The team winning the toss should look to field first here and should look to chase down the target on an even pitch.
The Kings and the Firebirds are both out of the contention for the playoffs for the 14th season for Super Smash. The Firebirds have been the better team among the two with more wins and more close contests compared to Canterbury Kings. Wellington Firebirds have already beaten Canterbury Kings by 65 runs which is a huge margin for a T20 game.
Thus, our prediction is that Wellington Firebirds will get the consolation win in the final league match against Canterbury Kings away from home at Hagley Oval.
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