Our prediction is that Northern Knights will win the encounter against Auckland Aces at home.
The Knights are up against Auckland Aces in the 10th match of the ongoing Super Smash League. The Knights have two straightforward wins in 3 games, against Otago and Wellington, whereas the Aces have had to endure a washout and a defeat against Wellington Birds in 3 games to go with an easy win against Central Stags.
In the last encounter between these two teams, the Knights had chased down 203 comfortably with more than 3 overs to spare. These two teams have been the top two teams after the league stages of the previous season of Super Smash and must be looking to qualify for the playoffs in this season as well.
The defending champions Northern Knights are carrying their good form since the last season where they were at the top of the table after the double round robin stage six points ahead of Auckland Aces, the team they are up against at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.
Knights started the season with a thumping win over Wellington Birds by 45 runs, however, lost to last year finalists Central Stags by 5 wickets only to come back strongly and win against Otago by restricting them to 99 in allotted 20 overs. Knights must also be buoyed by the head-to-head record of 3-2 against the Aces in the last 5 games.
Captain Dean Brownlie, who is the leading scorer in the tournament so far, along with Seifert, who is amongst the top 5 six hitters in the series, forms the core of the batting unit. The bowling would depend mainly on Santner along with Ish Sodhi and Scott Kuggeleijn.
Dean Brownlie (c), Daniel Flynn, Ish Sodhi, Corey Anderson, Anton Devcich, Tim Seifert (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn, Brett Randell, Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell, Brett Hampton
Auckland Aces kind of find themselves in a desperate situation after a washout and a defeat in first 3 matches. As they look to force a win they find themselves up against defending champions Northern Knights who are looking in good touch with a couple of wins under their belt.
Auckland Aces must be concerned about their batting a tad bit. It took them 17 overs to chase down 111 against Central Stags and they crumbled for just 110 against Canterbury where Kyle Jamieson took 6 wickets for just 7 runs. Winners of the two consecutive seasons in 2010 and 2011, the Aces have not been at their best in the last three seasons. They would keen on changing that with a win over Knights on Sunday.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, and Somerville along with the captain Cachopa from the core of the team looking to topple the defending champions at Seddon Park.
Craig Cachopa (c), Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Ronnie Hira, Colin Munro, Robert ODonnell, Mark Chapman, William Somerville, Lockie Ferguson, Glenn Phillips (wk), Ben Lister
The conditions at Seddon Park are suited for defending the score on board. In the last 3 seasons, including the current one, the teams batting first have won 66% of the matches at this venue.
The team winning the Toss should choose to Bat first and have the opposition chase at a venue where teams have historically found it difficult to chase in withering conditions.
The defending champions are in great form whereas Auckland Aces, who have won the Super Smash League 4 times before, find themselves in a tricky going into their fourth game. It is going to be a tough fight amongst the top two teams of the previous season, but Knights seem to be a more balanced team who has momentum and the home condition advantage with them.
We are backing Northern Knights for the win!
Featured bookmaker: Betway