About the Match
Canterbury won the opening match against Otago by a whopping 134 runs to gain 4 points and move to the top of the table; they will take on Central Districts, who lost the match against Auckland by 5 wickets, on 17th December at Nelson. The season has kick-started with two interesting matches so far, and the fans will surely be there to support their teams. Both Canterbury and Central Districts have experienced players in the batting and bowling departments, and could give each other a tough challenge on Sunday. It needs to be seen which side can keep a cool head above its shoulders and emerge victorious in this contest.
Batting first against Auckland, Jesse Ryder and George Worker built a good foundation, posting a 70-run opening stand. While Ryder scored 54 off 40, Worker posted 40 runs; Doug Bracewell and Tom Bruce helped to add on some more runs to take the total to 192. However, the bowlers failed to defend the total and lost the match by 5 wickets with 10 balls remaining.
Fast-bowler Bill Tickner claimed 2-44 while other pacers Adam Milne, Ben Wheeler and Tom Bruce dismissed one opponent each to stifle the opponents. However, others like Bracewell and Worker proved to be too expensive and the Auckland batsmen reached the target well on time.
The Stags had done well last season to reach the finals, wherein they lost to Wellington; this time they will be determined to do one better and clinch the title. They have experienced batsmen and bowlers who can help them realize their goals with a comeback win here.
They posted a challenging total of 217 runs batting first against Otago, and then went on to defend it with ease to win by a massive margin of 134 runs. Ben Stokes posted 93 off 47 while Michael Pollard scored 33 to build a solid foundation. McConchie, Johnston and others down the line helped keep the scoreboard ticking, and they can stabilize the innings in the middle whether batting first or during the chase.
Spinner Todd Astle put up a splendid 3-18 to restrict the Otago batsmen; he got good support from pacers Matt Henry and Ellis, who took 2 wickets each and Ben Stokes who dismissed one opponent. Spinner Cole McConchie also took 2-24 and helped wrap up a win in the 12th over itself.
They had reached the knock-out stage last year but lost the preliminary final against Wellington, who went on to win the prize; they will be motivated to continue with their winning momentum here. The Canterbury bowlers and batsmen are in good form and have showcased their skills and experience in the opening match. They can prove to be a formidable force to reckon with in the upcoming game too.
Going by their recent performance, the Canterbury players are in better form than Central Stags; although the contest could see both teams come out all guns blazing, we feel that Canterbury is better placed to win on Sunday