Our Prediction is Otago Volts to win!
Hosts Otago will look be focused to continue their winning streak when they take on reigning champions Northern Knights in the 7th game of Super Smash competition in Alexandria on Sunday.
In their previous game, Otago managed to edge out Wellington by one run in a game played in Wellington on Friday. The result saw Otago go top of the table with eight points from two games played in the competition.
On the other hand, Northern Knights suffered a setback as they suffered defeat at the hands of Central Districts in a game played on Thursday. Knights are currently placed second in the table with four points to their name.
Hosts will be relying heavily on the likes of Anaru Kitchen and Neil Broom to do bulk of the scoring. Kitchen, who opens for Otago has scored 96 runs in 2 games at an average of 48.00. Broom also has not been far behind with 66 runs in 2 matches at an average of 33.00.
Hamish Rutherford perished for a low score against Wellington in a game played on Friday. Opener will be looking to put up a decent score in this home fixture. The middle-order need to produce runs in this game. The likes of Shawn Hicks, Michael Rippon and Josh Fennie will need to deliver with the bat in order for Otago to post a competitive score on the board.
Rippon produced a much-needed cameo in the previous game to see Otago post a competitive total against Wellington.
In the bowling department, Christi Viljeon has been surprise package with the ball and is currently leading-wicket taker for Otago in the competition. He has picked up six wickets in two games played so far.
Captain Jacob Duffy also showed improvement in the previous game and picked up two wickets to help his side eke out a victory against Wellington.
Jacob Duffy (Captain), Neil Broom, Anaru Kitchen, Hamish Rutherford, Shawn Hicks, Ben Cox (wk), Michael Rippon, Josh Finnie, Nathan Smith, Christi Viljeon, Jack Hunter
On the other hand, Northern Knights will be looking to make a strong comeback in this game. The defending champions suffered a five-wicket defeat at the hands of Central Districts.
In the batting department, the team will be depending on Skipper Dean Brownlie, who has contributed significantly to the team’s cause by scoring 110 runs in 2 matches at an average of 55.00. Wicket-keeper batsman Tim Siefert has also played exceedingly well so far in the competition and has scored 101 runs at an average of 50.50.
Knights middle-order is a cause of concern as Daryl Mitchell, Bret Hampton and Daniel Flynn have not done much with the bat. All-rounder Anton Devcich also has failed to produce quick-fire starts for the Knights in the two games played so far.
In the bowling department, the team will look towards the likes of Anton Devcich, who is leading the bowling charts for Knights with five wickets to his name. Scott Kuggeleijn also produced a probing spell with the new-ball in the previous game.
The experienced spin duo of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner also produced the good with the ball for Knights.
Dean Brownlie (Captain), Tim Siefert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell, Daniel Flynn, Anton Devcich, Brett Hampton, Ish Sodhi, Scott Kuggeleijn, Brett Randell, PD Bodock
The pitch prepared for this fixture will be decent one for batting. The weather forecasted for Alexandria on Sunday will see showers in the evening. The rain might play a big role in this game.
The venue is certainly known for hosting games for the Super Smash competition. It has never hosted an international fixture. Since 1980-81, Molyneux Park has been the home for Otago for all three formats of the game. The average score for the stadium is around 140 runs as suggested by the games played in the previous edition of Super Smash.
Both the teams will be looking to bowl first and restrict the opposition to a modest total. Last season, both games played at venue were won by side batting second.
Hosts Otago Volts are comfortably placed at the top of the league table and will be favorites to win this contest. Northern Knights will need to raise their game with bat and ball if they aim to upstage Otago on their home turf. We will back Otago Volts for the win!
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