About the Match
Auckland and Central Districts will face-off in the first match of the Super Smash T20 at Auckland on 13th December. The popular domestic series will see exciting players featuring in the various squads and the crowds will surely come out in full strength to support their teams. While the Auckland Aces hadn’t made it to the semi-finals last year, Central Districts ended up as the runners-up failing to clinch the title in the finals against Wellington. Both teams will try to start the tournament on a winning note; it will be interesting to see which side can emerge victorious after overcoming challenges on Wednesday.
They have experienced and in-form batsmen like Colin Munro, Glen Phillips, Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman, who scored an unbeaten 125 in the Ford Trophy match against Wellington on Sunday. Phillips had been the highest run-getter last season and could add stability to the innings while batting first or during the chase; with players like Craig Cachopa and Chapman in the middle-order, the Aces surely could pose a challenge here.
The bowling unit consists of speedsters like McClenaghan, Ferguson, all-rounder Colin Munro and McEwan. Spinners Tarun Nethula and Mark Chapman add variety to the attack and could provide regular breakthroughs against Central Districts. They have been doing well in recent outings and could prove themselves in the upcoming T20 season as well.
The team has reputed names in the batting and bowling discipline; overall, Auckland has good resources who can help them outwit the Stags on Wednesday and start the campaign on a positive note.
Wicket-keeper batsman Dane Cleaver is in good form as seen in the match against Otago recently in the Ford Trophy match; he scored 124 runs in as many balls and adds depth to the batting line-up. Captain Will Young, Jesse Ryder, George Worker, Tom Bruce and Doug Bracewell bring a lot of experience and can stabilize the innings in the upcoming match.
Speedsters Doug Bracewell and Ben Wheeler took 3 wickets each against Otago and could stifle the Auckland batsmen. Fast-bowlers Adam Milne B Tickner adds variety to the pace attack while Ajaz Patel brings his spin skills to the team. They are a well-balanced unit and can pull out some tricks while trying to restrict Auckland on Wednesday.
The Stags had done well last year to make it all the way to the finals but lost the title to Wellington after a well-fought contest. They have match-winners in all departments of the game and could prove to be a formidable force to reckon with here.
It’s going to be another thrilling season of T20 domestic cricket for the Kiwis and both teams would like to kick-start their campaign with a win on Wednesday. While Central Districts have done well historically and have reputed players, we feel that with the home advantage on their side, Auckland Aces are better placed to emerge victorious.