Our prediction is that Otago Volts will win the match against Wellington Firebirds on Sunday.
Wellington Firebirds and Otago Volts will feature in the 24th match of the 14th Edition of Super Smash, a domestic T20 competition in New Zealand. This match will be played at University Oval in Dunedin which is home ground for Otago Volts.
The weather has traditionally played spoilsport when these two teams try to have the dual. In last 8 completed matches, three matches have been shortened or abandoned because of weather resulting in 1 tie and two abandoned games.
Both the teams are struggling in this tournament and are currently in the bottom three teams. Volts must consider themselves unlucky to miss two matches to rain. The Firebirds, on the other hand, have had to endure one abandoned game.
This is an important game for both the teams as the team winning here would replace the Aces at third spot whereas it will mostly be curtains for the losing team.
Otago Volts must consider themselves a bit unlucky this season weather wise. They lost the same number of matches as Central Stags but find themselves in bottom 3 whereas the Stags are second the points table. In addition to the losses they had to make do with a couple of washouts against Central Stags, without a ball bowled, and against Auckland Aces 11 overs into the game.
More importantly, these were home games which would have been advantageous to the Volts. A close loss against Auckland, by 4 runs, and a couple of comprehensive ones against Northern Knights and Central Stags meant Volts securing the fourth spot with NRR at -0.712.
Otago Volts have the confidence of beating Wellington away from home in the previous encounter this season and must be hoping for a full game this Sunday in home conditions. AK Kitchen is among the runs and captain Duffy is highest wicket-taker for the Volts with 10 wickets to his name until now. The captain must be looking to continue the good performance in the home game as well.
JA Duffy (c), NT Broom, HD Rutherford, AK Kitchen, S Hicks, JL Finnie, OB Cox, MJG Rippon, C Viljoen, NG Smith, JS Hunter
Nathan Smith, Hamish Rutherford, Ben Cox, Jacob Duffy, Joshua Finnie, BS Wilson, Anaru Kitchen, C Viljoen, Ben Raine, NT Broom, Tasman Jones
Wellington Firebirds are having a horrible season with 4 losses in 7 games. Only Canterbury have more losses than the Firebirds. The winners of the 2016-17 season have not been at their best this season and are on the verge of being eliminated.
The victories they had were convincing ones. They won by 8 wickets with more than 4 overs remaining against Central Stags and demolished Canterbury for 135 after setting a target of 200. In 7 matches these were the only bright spots for them for an otherwise below average season.
In their last encounter against Otago Volts, they had to endure one-run defeat chasing 11 in the last over. The Firebirds must be hoping for a bit of better luck this time for a defeat here would probably mean the end of the road of them. Conway and Bracewell have been good with the bat so far and Ollie Newton is showing the way with the ball.
HK Bennett (c), DP Conway, MG Bracewell, AJ Hose, JDS Neesham, TA Blundell †, TM Johnson, LV van Beek, OR Newton, JS Patel, BV Sears
Hamish Bennett, Rachin Ravindra, TA Blundell, Luke Woodcock, Ollie Newton, Michael Bracewell, Jeetan Patel, Troy Johnson, Devon Conway, Ben Sears, James Neesham
The last two matches played at this venue ended up unfinished because of the rain. This is a high scoring ground where the last two encounters have been high scoring ones. The Volts scored 188 in the successful chase while the Aces had reached 117 in just 11 overs before the match had to be called off because of the rain. Weather remains a threat at this venue for the current encounter as well.
The team winning the toss should look to Bowl first here in case the D/L is applied to set a target for chasing team. Team batting second always has an advantage in a shortened game.
Otago Volts and Wellington Firebirds were at the bottom of the table in the last season as well and are on their way to the bottom this season as well if they do not improve their game. Volts looks like a better team though and had they not lost a couple of home matches to rain at home this season they would have been a bit higher in the ranking table.
Thus, our prediction is that weather permitting, Otago Volts will register a victory in home conditions against the Firebirds at Dunedin.
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