About the Match
Central Districts registered a thumping win against Otago by 118 runs recently, and they are now in the 5th place with 14 points; they will go up against Wellington, who is in the 4th place with 16 points, on 12th January at New Plymouth. Wellington suffered defeat against Canterbury by 62 runs after winning 2 matches consecutively and will be eager to bounce back with a win here. The contest could be well fought by both sides and whichever team keeps a cool head above its shoulders, will be better placed to emerge victorious.
Batting first against Otago, captain Will Young led from the front scoring 79 off 43 to take the total to 217; he got good support from Christian Leopard and Tom Bruce, who scored 52 and 42 runs respectively. Later, the pacers did a fine job providing regular breakthroughs with Seth Rance claiming 3-15 while Blair Tickner took 2 wickets. Bevan Small also used his pace skills to dismiss 3-20 while spinner Ajaz Patel took 2 wickets, continuing his good form with the ball. The bowlers combined well to stifle the Otago batsmen and help wrap up a fine win by 118 runs.
Previously against Northern Knights, the batsmen did well to post 181 runs batting first, but the bowlers failed to defend the total as George Worker and Ryan McCone went for more than 10 runs per over. Although Ajaz Patel took 2 wickets and Bevan Small tried to contain the opposition with 1-25, they lost the match by 5 wickets.
The Stags haven’t done quite well till now and are looking for some respite with a better all-around performance in the upcoming match; with the bowling department in good form and top-order batsmen recently doing well with the bat, Central Districts could prove to be a tough nut to crack here.
Chasing a humble target of 151 against Canterbury, the batsmen were outwitted by the opponents getting all-out for just 88 by the 15th over. They lost the match by 62 runs after experienced players like Luke Ronchi, Tom Blundell and Hamish Marshall were dismissed cheaply for single digits.
Michael Bracewell and all-rounder Samit Patel tried to revive the innings by scoring 21 and 23 runs respectively but with hardly any support from other middle-order players like Devon Conway and Luke Woodcock, Wellington fell short of the target by a big margin. Earlier, medium-pacer Logan van Beek took a stupendous 3-15 to stifle Canterbury while spinners Samit Patel, Jeetan Patel and Luke Woodcock provided 4 wickets between them.
Chasing 160 against Otago, Luke Ronchi and Hamish Marshall posted a 75-run opening stand while Samit Patel pitched in with 34 off 16 to steer the team across the finish line with 7 overs to spare. Earlier, the all-rounder had taken 2-26 with his spin skills while speedsters Logan van Beek, Anurag Verma and Ollie Newton took a wicket each to restrict Otago to 159 runs. Spinners like Luke Woodcock and Jeetan Patel add depth to the attack and they could combine well again to stun the Stags here.
Wellington has performed better than Central Districts till now and could try to dominate on Friday; despite that fact, we feel that the Stags will win here largely due to they're superb from coming into this game.