Our prediction is Northern Knights to win!
The Northern Knights host the Canterbury Kings in the latest Super Smash T20 match in New Zealand in a clash between two sides at opposite ends of the table. The Knights won twice in three days in their most recent matches while the Kings sit at the bottom of the table having struggled throughout the competition.
These two sides only met last week, when the Northern Knights ran out two-wicket victors in a high-scoring encounter. Batting first, the Kings posted a respectable 193-5 with Chad Bowes scoring 67. However, the Knights’ powerful batting line-up got past their target with two balls to spare.
Kyle Jamieson took record-breaking figures of 6-7 for the Kings against the Aces but even he was hardly effective against the Knights and whether their batsmen can once again tame the giant pacer could be one the of the keys to this match.
The Knights are now on a four-match winning streak courtesy of victories over Otago Volts, the Aces, the Kings and most recently, Wellington Firebirds. In that match, none of their batsmen scored a half-century (Daryl Mitchell fell one run short) but they won by 12 runs to confirm that whether they bat or bowl first, they are strong enough to win.
However, this match sees them having to make at least two changes thanks to the departures of Anton Devcich and Chris Jordan to the Big Bash League, where they have joined Sydney Thunder. Devcich only scored 56 runs in five innings and Jordan only managed a couple of wickets so the Knights are not considerably weakened by their departures. Not least because they can call upon Kyle Abbott, who was excellent against the Firebirds, and Corey Anderson. They would hope to be able to pick Scott Kuggeleijn and Dean Brownlie for this one after they missed the game against the Firebirds.
Dean Brownlie (c), Joe Carter, Daryl Mitchell, Scott Kuggeleijn, Corey Anderson, Daniel Flynn, Peter Bocock (wk), Kyle Abbott, Neil Wagner, Tarun Nethula, Zak Gibson
This campaign has been one to forget for the Kings and now on a run of three straight defeats, their chances of qualifying the play-offs are all but gone. After losing the toss in their last game against Central Stags, they failed to put a big enough score on the board, managing just 112-8. Their bowlers had nothing to work with and the game was finished with three overs unbowled.
Only two of the Kings batsmen (Cole McConchie and Bowes) have passed 100 runs for the season and Jamieson has taken 43% of all wickets claimed by bowlers so far, highlighting the Kings’ issues this season. Their batsmen have not got enough runs and their bowlers have been wildly inconsistent and more often than not expensive.
They have chopped and changed their line-up in a bid to get results but even the likes of Matt Henry and Todd Astle have struggled to make an impact. They may well stick with the team that disappointed against the Stags, hoping for an uptick in performance from what is on paper probably their strongest possible line-up.
Tom Latham (wk), Chad Bowes, Stephen Murdoch, Cole McConchie (c), Andrew Ellis, Cameron Fletcher, Leo Carter, Todd Astle, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Ed Nutall
It is forecast to be warm and wet this week in Hamilton with thunderstorms around in the early part of the week. There is a good chance of rain before the match so this could be a shortened game. The bad weather will do little to inject any pace into the pitch, although it has been a good one for runs in the tournament so far.
Seddon Park has not been visited in recent times by New Zealand but it is a regular Super Smash venue. There have been 29 domestic T20 games here with the side batting first winning 14 times to those batting second 12. The average score batting first is 164 and the ground record of 215 was set by the Knights against the Firebirds in this season’s opening game.
The Knights bucked a recent trend when they chose to bat first against the Firebirds but they successfully chased when beating the Kings two games ago. With the threat of rain around, they may well decide they are better off batting second, particularly if the game becomes shortened. The Kings have also won the toss and fielded more times than they have batted.
Everything points to another Northern Knights victory. The two sides were a long way apart when they met a few days ago, but even with the Knights having to change their side, they are arguably not much weaker without Devcich and Jordan if they can bring back their star men from international duty. The Kings, meanwhile, haven’t really found a winning combination and their confidence will have taken a huge blow after their defeat last time out. This should be a victory for the Knights.
Featured Bookmaker: Betrally India