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|Henry Burton Shipley||2.0||0||19||0||9.50|
|Blake Peter Coburn||4.0||0||48||0||12.00|
Wins for Wellington Firebirds and Otago Volts in their recent respective matches have left the Aces and the Kings high and dry. They are placed in the bottom half of the table and need to pick up pace unless that want to get into a situation from where qualifying for the playoffs appears to be a remote ask. Both the Aces as well as the Kings are set to take on each other on the first day of the new year and they both would love to have a happy beginning to the year. While Canterbury Kings still have six game at their disposal, time is running out for Auckland Aces. Considering it is almost a do-or-a-die situation for the Aces, we expect them to come hard against the Kings and a cracker of a contest is on the cards.
While the Aces could have considered themselves a bit unlucky a couple of matches ago, they certainly can't do so now. They have only themselves to blame for their poor show in the tournament and consequently being on the fifth spot on the ladder. They have won just one out of the four completed matches they've played and are staring at an early exit from the tournament. Their poor net run-rate of -0.717 isn't going to help them either should things get close towards the end of the tournament.
On paper, Auckland Aces have one of the best batting units in the tournament. However, they haven't been able to replicate their prowess on the field. It wasn't any different in their previous match as well wherein they were handed a hefty defeat by Wellington Firebirds. Batting first against the Firebirds, Colin Munro and Glenn Phillips failed once again as the Aces found themselves under the pump early in their innings. Martin Guptill was a sole warrior, but the Aces needed more than 42 from him as well as additional support from the rest of the batters.
Defending a total of just 133 never would have been easy on Eden Park and it didn't prove to be any different either. Mitchell Mclenaghan got rid of Michael Pollard early and Will Somerville kept things tight from the other end, but poor death bowling along with some skillful batting from Devon Conway ensured an easy win for the visitors.
All in all, the Aces' major strength is their terrific batting with batsmen, who are capable to hit the ground running. However, barring Martin Guptill, none of their batsmen have been consistent, even in getting starts. Consequently, their bowlers have been under immense pressure and haven't produced the kind of performances they are capable of.
Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, GD Phillips, Mark Chapman, Craig Cachopa, Corey Anderson, Sean Solia, Ronnie Hira, Louis Delport, Benjamin Lister, MJ Mcclenaghan.
Just like the Aces, the Kings too have been struggling to find form in the tournament. They have played a couple of games less as compared to the Aces, but have won the same number of games. They are currently placed at the fourth spot on the ladder with six points to their name and a net run-rate of -0.539.
Apart from one match wherein the Kings rampaged past the Central Stags, the Kings have had a forgetful tournament. They are coming off a brutal defeat at the hands of Otago Volts wherein there bowlers were carted all around the park before their entire unit was dismantled for just 139.
In that match, none of their batsmen apart from Cam Fletcher and Leo Carter looked settled, but they, too, failed to match the asking rate. It was the first innings, however, where they lost the match. Their bowlers failed to pick wickets at the important junctures of the match and that allowed Otago Volts to put a mammoth total of 190-runs on the board.
Chad Bowes, Jack Boyle, Stephen Murdoch, Cole McConchie, Cameron Fletcher, Andrew Ellis, Leo Carter, Henry Burton Shipley, Will Williams, Blake Peter Coburn, Ed Nuttall.
Both the teams are in a similar situation, but the Kings have an advantage of having two additional games up their sleeve. Considering how the series have gone for the two sides, picking between them is a hard job. On paper, the Aces are a better unit, but their inconsistent batting would be a cause of concern. However, we think that the likes of Colin Munro and Glenn Phillips are likely to find their form back and would be dangerous to deal with for the Kings. We think that the Aces are better placed to emerge on top in this upcoming fixture.
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