The Stags would be favorites!
Our prediction is that Central Stags will win their second match of the season against Auckland Aces at home in Pukekura Park.
The 6th match of the 14th Edition of Super Smash, a domestic T20 competition in New Zealand, will be played between Central Stags and Auckland Aces. Central Stags have played and won a match until now whereas Auckland Aces had to face a washout against Wellington in their opening game of this season. The match will be played at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth which is home ground for Central Stags.
This a match between two very strong teams. Auckland Aces have a great history at Super Smash where they have won the tournament 4 times and have been runners-up 3 times with their last appearance in finals in 2015 where they lost to Otago Volts. On the other hand, Central Stags have reached finals 5 times winning it twice. Central Stags have reached the last two finals in 2016 and 2017 edition of the Super Smash tournament, although they failed to win in both the finals.
In recent years, Central Stags have made it a habit of making it to the finals of the Super Smash tournament. They did that for last two seasons sadly winning in neither of the finals. They must be looking to change it this year.
Central Stags have started well on that path beating the defending champions Northern Knights in their opening game of this season by 5 wickets. Thanks to unbeaten 88 by Tom Bruce and 3-for by Tickner. Having chosen to field first after winning the Toss Central Stags restricted Northern Knights for 156 and chased it down in the 20th Over.
In the last five games, Central Stags have had an upper-hand over Auckland Aces and must be looking to forward to keep it that way.
TC Bruce (c), D Cleaver, GH Worker, WA Young, JA Clarkson, DAJ Bracewell, K Noema-Barnett, BM Wheeler, SHA Rance, FJM Murray, BM Tickner
Auckland Aces must be looking to get be anxious start the Super Smash campaign after the first match washout against Wellington. The Aces have had a formidable history especially in 2010 and 2011 when they won the Super Smash tournament consecutively.
Since the 2015 championship, they have not reached the finals of Super Smash. The team they are up against at Pukekura Park, Central Stags, beat them in the semi-final eliminator in the last season by rolling them over for just 127 chasing 163. The Aces must be keen to even that out on the field.
With Cachopa at the helm, some good performances from the key players such as Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, and Somerville, Aces must be looking to start their season with a win against Central Stags.
B Cachopa (c), MS Chapman, LH Ferguson, DJ Grobbelaar, MJ Guptill, RM Hira, BG Lister, C Munro, RR O'Donnell, GD Phillips, MR Quinn, WER Somerville
The conditions at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth does not enable free-scoring especially early in the game. The pitch eases out as the match progresses. There haven’t been many 200 plus scores at this venue.
The team winning the Toss should look to Bowl first here to use the early help on offer and then look have a go at the target in reasonably better batting conditions in the second half.
The Auckland Aces and Central Stags are the teams that love to go all the way in the Super Smash tournament. Together they have reached the finals 10 out of 13 times including twice against each other.
Looking at the form in recent years and the home condition advantage for Central Stags, our prediction is that hosts will win against a tough rival Auckland Aces.
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