Our prediction is that Canterbury will win this match!
The action begins after four days in the Super Smash Tournament. The league enters the middle phase where the teams will be looking to fix their best combination players and win points to stay at the top of the table.
The Hosts Wellington come here after their victory against Central Districts. They have just a single victory from four matches played so far. Skipper Hamish Bennett will look to win the upcoming matches to place themselves in best position to qualify. Openers Michael Bracewell and Devon Conway are in good nick and scored runs consistently so far. Middle order batsmen Adam Hose, Malcolm Nofal, Keeper Blundell and Michael Pollard must improve their batting and contribute more runs to the team in the middle overs. They are hit by the absence of star all-rounder James Neesham, who has left for national duties against Sri Lanka. Pacers Ollie Newton, Logan Van Beek and Skipper Hamish Bennett has been in good form and amongst the wickets. Experienced bowler Jeetan Patel is the lone spinner in the team.
Canterbury are on a high after beating Auckland in the last match on the new year day. Their Captain McConchie played crucial role with both the bat and ball in the last match. All their batsmen Chad Bowes, Andrew Ellis, Stephen Murdough, Cam Fletcher and Leo Carter had starts in the matches played so far. They would want one or two of their top order batsmen to play a big innings to post a huge score. All-rounder Kylie Jamieson has been their star performer for them in the league. He is well supported on the bowling front by the pace trio of Ed Nuttall, Henry Shipley and Andrew Ellis. Skipper McConchie and Left arm spinner Jeremy Benton share the spin bowling duties. Their bowlers came to fray by restricting Auckland to 110 after failing to defend 184 runs against Otago in the tournament opener.
Hamish Bennett – Skipper Bennett has found his rhythm with the ball and has bowled well in last couple of matches. He will look to set the tempo by taking wickets early in the bowling innings.
Devon Conway – Conway has got to starts and scored 40+ runs in all the completed matches so far. He will due for a big score and will be looking to score it in this match.
Missing player: James Neesham
Stats from the tournament:
Michael Bracewell – 140 runs at strike rate 184 (HS – 74, 50s-2)
Hamish Bennett – 5 wickets at an economy of 7.8 RPO (BB – 3/22)
Hamish Bennett(c), Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Adam Hose, Malcolm Nofal,
Tom Blundell(Wk), Michael Pollard, Logan Van Beek, Ollie Newton, Jeetan Patel, Ben Sears.
Wellington are expected to go in with the same playing XI and they will not change their winning combination.
Stephen Murdouch – Murdouch has scored fifty in the first match and is in good form. He would look to score more runs at the top of the innings.
Kylie Jamieson – Jamieson has been bowled a record breaking spell of 7/6 in the last match. He also played a blinder to finish off the innings in the first match.
Stats from the tournament:
Stephen Murdouch – 54 runs at strike rate 154 (HS – 54, 50s-1)
Kylie Jamieson – 8 wickets at an economy of 5.8 RPO (BB – 6/7) & 33 *(17)
Cole McConchie(c), Chad Bowes, Andrew Ellis, Stephen Murdouch, Cam Fletcher, Kylie Jamieson, Leo Carter, Ed Nuttall, Henry Shipley, Andrew Ellis, Jeremy Benton.
Canterbury will go in with the same playing XI unless there is an injury concern in the last minutes.
The pitch has good carry and bounce to aid the fast bowlers. And the runs are scored in the range of 160-180 runs. The pitch is expected to remain the same throughout the entire duration of the match. The Wellington weather seems to promise a match with full quota of 40 overs.
Batting second becomes difficult under lights and batsmen find it difficult to time the ball. Teams batting first has won more matches in wellington so both captains will look to bat post a big total in this match.