Wellington Firebirds’ march towards fifth straight win
Wellington Firebirds to win
Otago Volts would be under great pressure to win as they face the table toppers Wellington Firebirds in the 15th game of Super Smash 2020-21. The Volts come here having lost their last game against the Central Stags by a huge margin where their bowling attack was torn apart. As for the Firebirds they have enjoyed great form and won the last game against Northern Knights convincingly.
The Firebirds have dominated the Volts in the last four seasons. The Volts have managed to defeat them only once and hence there would be a mental roadblock that the Volts have to overcome to win this game. Given the kind of performances we have seen from the Firebirds in this tournament it will require a great effort on the part of the Volts to win this game.
Jacob Duffy’s team has been inconsistent as they face the toughest challenge of the season so far, the side will need to come up with something special to win here. They lost to the Central Stags by 53 runs in the last game. Their bowlers have been poor in most of the games and Duffy would need to lead from the front and guide his side with a win in this game.
The side would need a good start from Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom. As the most experienced players in the side they will have big responsibilities on their shoulders. Nick Kelly did well in the last game and adds good strength to the middle order alongside Llew Johnson and Mitch Renwick. They would need contributions from Anaru Kitchen and Mitchell McClenaghan.
Anaru Kitchen and Duffy were expensive with the new ball in the last game and they will need to do well here. McClenaghan stood out with his good show in the last game and shall look to start from where he left. Matthew Bacon, Michael Rae and Michael Rippon shall have to focus on bowling tighter lines for the side to defeat the formidable Firebirds in this game.
Jacob Duffy (c), Mitch Renwick (wk), Nick Kelly, Neil Broom, Michael Rae, Anaru Kitchen, Hamish Rutherford, Mitchell McClenaghan, Matthew Bacon, Michael Rippon, Llew Johnson
Mitchell Renwick, Michael Rae, Jacob Duffy, Neil Broom, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nick Kelly, Anaru Kitchen, Llew Johnson, Michael Rippon, Matthew Bacon, Hamish Rutherford
Four wins in four games and Michael Bracewell couldn’t have asked for a better show from his side midway through the tournament. They are comfortably sitting at the top of the points table with one win away from a place in the elimination round. They registered a massive 80-run win against the Northern Knights in the last game look in the right frame of mind at the moment.
Openers Devon Conway and Finn Allen stitched a 117-run win in the last game and they would look to come up with similar efforts here. In the middle order the side has good strength with Tom Blundell, James Neesham and Bracewell in the side. Jamie Gibson and Rachin Ravindra with their good hitting abilities down the order further strengthen the batting for the side.
Hamish Bennett has been troubling batsmen and he will be expected to strike with the new ball here. Logan van Beek has also looked good with Ravindra and Jimmy Neesham’s impressive performance in the last game strengthens their bowling attack. Bracewell too impressed with his bowling and it will be a challenge for the Firebirds batsmen to score against this attack.
Michael Bracewell (c), Devon Conway, Finn Allen, Rachin Ravindra, Tom Blundell (wk), James Neesham, Jamie Gibson, Troy Johnson, Logan van Beek, Peter Younghusband, Hamish Bennett
Rachin Ravindra, Hamish Bennett, Devon Conway, Logan van Beek, Ben Sears, Jamie Gibson, PY Husband, Michael Bracewell, Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, James Neesham
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||19||0 mm.||3.34 k/h||From: ENE||25%|
|03h||19||0 mm.||4.71 k/h||From: ENE||24%|
|06h||18||0 mm.||3.95 k/h||From: ENE||17%|
|09h||15||0 mm.||2.97 k/h||From: ENE||12%|
|12h||14||0 mm.||0.7 k/h||From: ENE||16%|
|15h||13||0 mm.||0.81 k/h||From: NNW||15%|
|18h||13||0 mm.||0.69 k/h||From: WNW||9%|
|21h||17||0 mm.||2.26 k/h||From: ENE||24%|
There would be odd clouds over Dunedin on January 14 but we don’t expect to see any rains here. The track is good for batting as it is flat and the ball is coming on to the bat nicely. We expect to see another high scoring encounter here and the side batting first would aim to score more than 180 runs to feel safe on this track.
University Oval, Dunedin balances it out between the batsmen and the bowlers. While there is some assistance for bowlers early on in the innings batsmen can play their strokes freely on this track. Spinners have struggled at this venue on most occasions as the boundaries are shorter and the ball doesn’t turn here much.
The pitch looked an absolute belter in the last game where bowlers on both the sides found it hard to contain the batsmen. We don’t expect much change to the character of this track here. The side winning the toss in this game is likely to bat first and aim at putting up a big total on the board.
Otago Volts face the most formidable opponent in the tournament and this game would test their character. Their bowling attack hasn’t inspired much confidence in the tournament so far and the side would be expecting a better show from them here. Wellington Firebirds on the other hand look at their best. They have been winning games by big margins and have key players in good form and this would make them favorites here.
Wellington Firebirds to win