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There is one match remaining for every team in the 2019 Super Smash T20 and it is all about going through the motions now because the lineup for the Super Smash T20 Playoffs 2019 has been set. There is noting that the bottom three teams on the league table can do to change that lineup.
Two of those teams, the Auckland Aces and the Central Districts Stags will be facing against each other in this match. They are second and third in the Super Smash t20 League standings and so they will play each other once more in the Preliminary Final. There is only a mathematical possibility of the Auckland Aces finishing top of the table by winning this match with a huge margin and then hoping that the Northern Knights lose their match by a huge margin too.
In all likelihood, we are seeing a dress rehearsal of the Super Smash T20 semi-final.
The Auckland Aces have won five out of their seven completed matches in the Super Smash T20 this season and have been one of the most formidable teams to watch out for. They defeated the Northern Knights in their previous match and will be looking to gets their final preparations in order as the knockouts approach.
The New Zealand international series against India is being played and so Colin Munro is going to be absent from the Auckland Aces squad. Munro scored 54 off just 30 balls in the previous match t help side seal the victory against the Knights and is going to be sorely missed. Martin Guptill is also going to be unavailable due to the injury he picked up while Lockie Ferguson is going to be on international duty as well.
These are players that the Auckland Aces have played without for the majority of the season and so we don’t think they are going to be hampered too much. There is a six-day gap between this match and the next one so most of the international players will be available for selection come the closing stages of the Super Smash T20 2019.
Craig Cachopa, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, and Robert O’Donnell have had a decent season and will be expected to turn it up once again. Perhaps Glenn Phillips is the one player that was expected to do more than he has but the knockouts are as good a time as any to remind the selectors of his prowess.
Mitchell McClenaghan is leading the Auckland Aces with 14 wickets to his name this season and has made a telling impact to the fortunes of the side this season. He, alongside Quinn and Somerville, will be the bowlers to watch out for in this match.
GD Phillips, Graeme Beghin, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Craig Cachopa, Mark Chapman, Robert O'Donnell, Ronnie Hira, Donovan Grobbelaar, MJ Mcclenaghan, W Somerville, Matthew Quinn.
The Central Districts Stags have won five out of their eight completed matches this season and been very impressive to watch. They are also going to be missing a few of their players to New Zealand international duty all of whom are expected to join up with Central Stags before their next match.
Blair Tickner and Doug Bracewell are the two big names to be missing for this match. Tickner has 15 wickets to his name, the second most for any bowler in the Super Smash T20 2019 season and so his absence is going to be quite difficult to overcome.
There is a lot of quality in the Central Stags side. They have Tom Bruce and Will Young, both of whom have scored over 200 runs this season already. Bruce is the second highest run-scorer in the Super Smash at the moment with a few more chances to overtake the only player in front of him.
Will Young is also on the fringe of New Zealand international selection and must view these last few matches as an opportunity to push his case further. With George Worker hitting form in the previous match and Dean Foxtrot also striking the ball well, the Central Stags have a very strong batting order.
George Worker coming into some form at this stage of the Super Smash is perhaps the biggest plus for the Central Stags and should help the side be a real force to be reckoned with.
Ajaz Patel and Seth Rance will be leading the bowling attack which has been weakened for this match. Ben Wheeler has also been very good this season and will be difficult to score off.
Will Young, George Worker, Dean Foxcroft, Tom Bruce, Josh Clarkson, Dane Cleaver, Ben Wheeler, Bevan Small, Adam Milne, Seth Rance, Ajaz Patel.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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The 2019 Super Smash T20 match between the Auckland Aces and the Central Districts Stags is going to be played at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch. Excellent weather has been predicted for match day and the current forecast is for sunny skies all day long.
The pitch at the Hagley Oval is excellent for batting. We have seen in the Super Smash as well as the international season of New Zealand cricket that batsmen have an opportunity to go for some really big scores. With nothing to lose in this game, expect the batter on both sides to play freely.
Both these teams are well stocked and are strong sides even in the absence of some of their leading players. This contest is going to be replayed with fully stocked squads in the Preliminary Final with a lot more at stake. Winning this match could help lay down a marker for that match. For this match, we are going with the Central Districts to win because of their squad looks a bit better balanced.
Back the Central Districts Stags to win.
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