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The Super Smash 2018-19 is underway and we have the Auckland Aces taking on the Wellington Firebirds as the first match for both teams this season. This promises to be an excellent match between two teams that are among the stronger ones in the Burger King Super Smash.
The Auckland Aces have been one of the strongest teams in the competition, traditionally speaking, while the Wellington Firebirds finished second in the league stages last season. Both of the teams have some excellent players and a pool of New Zealand’s best domestic players to boost the side too.
The Super Smash is a short and sharp tournament so winning these early encounters is going to be key for both the sides.
One look at the Auckland Aces squad will show just why they are being considered as one of the pre-tournament favorites this season. They have quite possibly the strongest batting lineup of all the teams in the Super Smash.
Here are some of the players that are expected to be available for the opening match for the Auckland Aces. Martin Guptill, Glenn Phillips, Colin Munro, Mark Chapman, and Sam Curran. These are just some of the names that are in the Auckland Aces squad and we don’t see all of them failing together in too many matches.
The best part of the Aces is that they are filled with players that are not going to be busy with the New Zealand test matches going on. A few of their players may miss out on Super Smash 2018-19 matches once the limited over games get underway but nothing that the team cannot recover from.
In our opinion, Glenn Philipps is going to be the player to watch out for. He had an excellent CPL and has quickly established himself as one of the most dangerous top order batters going around.
With Colin Munro and other experienced batters in the side too, the Auckland Aces are not going to be short of runs on too many occasions.
As far as the bowling goes, Tarun Nethula was a revelation last year and could face some tougher competition this time around as players start to figure him out. Mitchell McClenaghan is our pick among the bowlers to take the maximum wickets for the Auckland Aces in this opening fixture and possible the entire Super Smash tournament.
Playing 11 not yet available.
The Wellington Firebirds had a great season last time around thanks to a number of players performing for the side. There were six players in the side that scored more than 150 runs each with Luke Ronchi leading the way.
Runs from Conway, Bracewell, Blundell, and Marshall make the Wellington Firebirds a very good side as well. Are they a better batting side than the Auckland Aces? Not on paper but then cricket is not played on paper.
The combination of batters that the Wellington Firebirds have is very capable of putting up or chasing big totals. Once the scoreboard pressure starts to pile on then even the Auckland Aces could falter.
On the bowling side, Jeetan Patel is going to lead the attack. He has become a staple across T20 teams because of his ability to pick wickets and an unbelievable economy rate. For a spinner that is not trying to deceive the batsmen with too many variations, this sort of sustained success is pretty hard to imagine.
Former England international and T20 specialist, Jade Dernbach is going to be a part of the Wellington Firebirds side as well. He is ostensibly replacing Samit Patel and we don’t think he is going to fill his English countrymate’s shoes.
Samit Patel played a huge role with both bat and ball in the last tournament si Dernbach will have to do something really exceptional for the Firebirds to not miss Samit Patel.
Playing 11 not yet available.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The Super Smash 2018-19 match between the Auckland Aces and Wellington Firebirds is going to be played at the Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland. There has been some rain around in Auckland but hopefully, it does not affect the duration of the match.
A T20 match really becomes a throw of the dice once it starts shrinking further. The pitch at Eden Park is always flat and the unique dimensions of the ground make hitting boundaries pretty easy as well.
We should have a high scoring contest if the match is about to be played out.
It is difficult to judge form at the beginning of the tournament but the wealth of superstars on the Auckland Aces is just too hard to ignore. We think the Auckland Aces should win this even if a couple of their big names fail to fire.
Back the Auckland Aces to win.
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