About the Match
Having lost its previous game against Auckland by 6 wickets, Canterbury is at the bottom of the table with zero points, and will take on Wellington, who are yet to open their points tally, on 15th December at Christchurch. Wellington lost its opening game against Knights by a narrow margin of 7 runs, and will try to make a fresh start here; Canterbury, on the other hand, has suffered two consecutive defeats and are eager to make amends. The contest could go down to the wire and it will surely keep the fans at the edge of their seats.
Batting first against Auckland, Tom Latham and Cam Fletcher posted a superb 54-run opening stand; Henry Nicholls then came out smashing an unbeaten 39 from 27 that took the scoreboard to a respectable 133. However, the bowlers couldn’t bring out something special and failed to defend the total against an in-form Auckland top-order. Fast-bowlers Ed Nuttall and Andrew Ellis took a wicket each while spinner Jeremy Benton also claimed one scalp but they had very less to fight with.
In the opening match against Central Stags, the bowlers proved to be too expensive with spinners and speedsters giving away more than 10 runs per over. The batsmen ended up facing a reduced target of 85 from 8.5 overs after rain affected the game but the pressure got the better of them. Chad Bowes and am Fletcher started the innings well but couldn’t come out all guns blazing. All-rounder Andrew Ellis scored a quick fire 27 from 17 balls but they fell short by 7 runs.
The have talented bowlers like Ben Hilfenhaus, Ellis, Jamieson and Nuttall, who can demolish the opposition with their pace skills; the spinners bring variety to the attack and can try to contribute with the wickets here. Experienced batsmen like Nicholls and Latham could stabilise the innings.
Fast-bowler Brent Arnel was stupendous as he registered figures of 3-21 against Knights while fielding first; other speedsters like Hamish Bennett and Jade Dernbach, who took 3 wickets between them, helped restrict the opponents to 142.
However, the batting line-up put up a dismal show with experienced players like Hamish Marshall, Luke Ronchi, Stephen Murdoch and all-rounder Jeetan Patel failing to build steady partnerships. Although middle-order batsman Tom Blundell posted a well-made 63, his lone efforts weren’t enough to cross the finish line.
Spinners Jeetan Patel and Luke Woodcock bring depth to the bowling unit, and they contributed well in the last match taking 3 wickets between them but they will need to put up disciplined spells here. The strong combination of pace and spin can give Wellington the required armoury to take down Canterbury in the upcoming match.
Both teams have not yet won this season and though its early stages, they would be eager to boost the morale of their camp with a much-needed win here. Wellington has a more experienced batting line-up but we feel that Canterbury which has reinforced its contingent with senior players can dominate to win on Thursday