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|Logan van Beek||3.0||0||22||0||7.33|
With a win over Otago Volts, Auckland Aces bounced back into the mix of things, as far as qualification to the next round is concerned. They are set to take on Wellington Firebirds in their next encounter, which is to be placed at Auckland's home ground, Eden Park, on 30th Decemeber. Both the sides are coming off remarkable wins in their respective matches and will be eager to do well in the upcoming as well. Considering that we are slowly moving towards the business end of the tournament, the important of this match couldn't be overstated. We expect a cracker of a contest between the two sides.
They are coming off a terrific win in their previous match wherein they defeated Central Stags, who were then at the top of the ladder, by a narrow margin of two points. With a win against the Stags, they came off the bottom of the table to the fifth spot and will be looking to rise further on the ladder.
Auckland's batting finally found form after a long gap of four matches and their fans as well the management would be pretty relieved to see that. Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman both played excellent knocks to guide their team to a total of 210. Chapman's knock of 63 off just 29 deliveries proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Their bowling, however, was still found struggling as they conceded 208 runs in the defence of their towering total. Barring Ronnie Hira and Benjamin Lister, who returned with the figures of 2 for 40 and 20 for 30 respectively.
All in all, they have a terrific batting lineup consisting of few of the best T20 players in the world. However, their bowling lacks sharpness and if they're able to improve in that department, the Aces will be a hard team to face, not just in the upcoming encounter, but also in all their upcoming encounters in the tournament.
Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, GD Phillips, Craig Cachopa, Mark Chapman, Sean Solia, Corey Anderson, Ronnie Hira, W Somerville, Benjamin Lister, MJ Mcclenaghan.
Wellington Firebirds rose to the top of the table with a fantastic win over Central Stags but were displaced soon after by Otago Volts. They are currently placed on the second spot, right behind Volts, and will be looking to reclaim the top spot with a win in the upcoming fixture.
Apart from Otago Volts, the Firebirds have arguably been the best side in the tournament and are top candidates as of now to finish at the top of the table. They have lost just one match in the tournament so far and their net run-rate of 0.391 is an evidence of how dominant they have been.
As it stands, they have 12 points to their name and a couple of more wins would put them in a reasonably good position to qualify for the playoffs. In their previous match, they ran past Central Stags after scoring 196 batting first. Jimmy Neesham and Devon Conway led the way with their batting as they contributed with 127 runs combined with Neesham scoring 38 and Conway contributing with 89.
More importantly, their bowling found rhythm with Logan van Beek and Ollie Newton picking up seven wickets between them. Ollie Newton as smashed away for 45 runs in his four overs, his five-wicket haul proved critical in handing Aces over a much-needed win.
Devon Conway, Michael Pollard, Rachin Ravindra, Michael Bracewell, James Neesham, Fraser Colson, Jamie Gibson, Malcolm Nofal, Logan van Beek, Ollie Newton, Hamish Bennett.
Both the sides would want to win this contest, but for different reasons. While Wellington Firebirds would be looking to reclaim the top-spot on the ladder, the Aces would be looking to rise up on the ladder from the fifth spot. Both the sides are coming off pretty good wins in their respective wins and its hard to pick between them in that aspect. However, the Firebirds appear to be better-balanced with both batting as well as bowling doing pretty well and will to the team to beat in the upcoming encounter. Betting on the Firebirds' win would be the way to go.
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