About the Match
Canterbury suffered a loss against Central Stags by 7 runs in the round-robin match after their target was reduced to 85 from 8.5 overs due to bad weather; they will take on Auckland Aces, who won their match against Otago by 22 runs, on 11t December at Christchurch. The month-long T20 league is in its second season and was previously called Georgie Pie Super Smash; this year too it has 6 teams participating and they will play each other twice with the top three teams qualifying for the playoffs. The upcoming match between Canterbury and Auckland will be quite interesting with both sides trying to dominate each other; it needs to be seen which one of them pulls off a win here.
They have fast bowlers like Ben Hilfenhaus, Ed Nuttall, Andrew Ellis and Jamieson, who tried to provide regular breakthroughs against Stags but gave away too many runs, leading to a challenging target of 198 runs. Spinners like Johnston and Benton bring their skills to the table, and can use their variations to stifle the opponents here. With the D/L method in place, they had a reduced target of 85 runs from 8.5 overs and Fletcher and Bowes gave a good start; both batsmen scored 20+ runs each while Ellis tried to lead from the front with his 17-ball 27 but others couldn’t support well.
The batting line-up has players like Fulton, McClure, Ellis and McConchie in the middle-order and they could try to stabilise the innings; openers Bowes and Fletcher did well in the match against Stags and will have to focus on building a good foundation against Auckland.
Overall, the Canterbury team can try to leverage the experience of senior players in order to strategize against the opponents; they have a well-balanced team of batsmen and bowlers, who can put up a stiff challenge on Sunday.
Batting first against Otago, wicketkeeper-batsman Glenn Philips, who scored 55 off 32 and Mark Chapman, who posted a brilliant 76 off just 32 deliveries, built a strong foundation for the team. Other middle-order players like Solia and all-rounder Jeet Raval did well to keep the scoreboard ticking and they posted a challenging target of 198 runs.
Spinners Nethula and Chapman took 3 wickets between them in an economical way to stifle the opponents; medium pacer Grobbelaar and fast-bowler Mills provided vital breakthroughs to contain the Otago batting line-up and help win the match by 22 runs. They can combine well in the upcoming match as well to stop the opposition from posting big total or chasing one.
With their recent victory, the team has got off to a good start and will be eager to continue with the winning momentum; the batting unit is deep and with all-rounders like Raval, Chapman and Nicol, who can contribute with bat and ball, Auckland surely can prove to be a tough nut to crack.
While Canterbury has good resources to start the league with a good performance, we feel that Auckland which has both batting firepower and precision bowling, clearly has the advantage to dominate here and emerge victorious.