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|Ross Ter Braak||4.0||0||23||2||5.75|
Another day and another wash-out in Super Smash. The weather gods haven't been too kind on the tournament so far. A wash-out in their previous match pushed Central Stags to the top of the ladder with ten points, which is a bit less than what they would have aimed for. Wellington Firebirds is the only team, who are not affected by the weather yet. Auckland Aces, on the other hand, have already featured in two rain-affected encounter and will be looking to get their first win on the board on Sunday. They'll be up against Northern Knights, who, too, are searching for their first win. With two teams desperate to get off the mark in the competition, the emotions will be running high, and we expect a hard-fought encounter at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Its been a while since Auckland Aces were involved in a completed T20I game. Their last two games were washed-out due to rain, leaving them with two points in each of the game. As it stands, they are placed at the four spot on the points table and a win here is likely to take them to third spot, one spot above Firebirds, only on the basis of net run-rate, though.
Auckland Aces faced a close defeat to Otago Volts in their last completed game. Batting first, Otago Volts slammed Aces' bowlers all around the park and scored a total of 210. The Aces did pretty well in reply with Glenn Phillips smashing a century, but lack of support from their lower middle-order left them wanting. The Aces finished with 14 runs short of the target.
On paper, the Aces have a terrific unit. Their bowling appeared to be back in rhythm against Otago Volts in the previous encounter, which was cut short by rain. They picked up two important Otago wickets without giving too many runs away before rain arrived.
Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, GD Phillips, Craig Cachopa, Mark Chapman, Sean Solia, Corey Anderson, Ronnie Hira, W Somerville, Ross Ter Braak, MJ Mcclenaghan.
Even though the Districts too have suffered from stoppages in play due to rain, their performance has been far from decent. They have played two completed matches and lost both of those quite comprehensively. Also, their net run-rate of -4.075 is an evidence of how poorly they have performed in the tournament so far.
Much to everyone's surprise, Northern Knights found themselves in a pretty good position in their previous match as they restricted the Knights to a total of just 149 for 9 in 20 overs. Brett Randell and Anurag Verma were the pick of their bowlers. They returned with the figures of 28 for 2 and 29 for 3 respectively in four overs each.
All in all, the Knights will draw confidence from their last match's performance, but they would still have to fare a lot better with the bat. If their batsmen can play to their potential, the Aces will certainly have their work cut out.
Tim Seifert, Anton Devcich, Dean Brownlie, Joe Carter, Brett Hampton, Daryl Mitchell, Daniel Flynn, Scott Kuggeleijn, IS Sodhi, Anurag Verma, Brett Randell.
With both teams desperate to get their first win, the significance of this match cannot be overstated. Both the Knights and the Aces have shown their vulnerabilities and it would be interesting to see how they fix them in the upcoming encounter. Auckland Aces have plenty of experience available in their batting department and with bowling finally appeared to have found rhythm, they appear to be a stronger side. Considering that and the other reasons mentioned above, the Aces are favorites to get their first win of the competition.
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