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|Henry Burton Shipley||2.0||0||21||0||10.50|
After facing an unanticipated loss, the Northern Knights have bounced back beautifully in the ongoing Burger King Super Smash and haven't looked back since. They're currently at the top of the table and another win will take them four points clear of the next best team in the competition. Their next assignment is against Canterbury Kings who have looked woeful so far in the tournament and are languishing at the bottom of the table with just one win in three matches. It's a small tournament with just 30 league games and it's high time for the Kings to get going unless they want to be in the catch-up made in the latter part of the league stage.
Canterbury Kings bottom of the table position certainly isn't justified the way they've played in the tournament so far. In their first match, they were beaten marginally by Otago Volts where Volts chased down a reasonably good total.
Since then, they've emerged victorious once - against Auckland Aces and have lost once - against Wellington Firebirds, which also happened to be their last game. That was their only encounter of the tournament where they failed to exhibit any fight whatsoever and lost the match by a massive margin of 65 runs.
Canterbury Kings elected to field first after winning the toss and their bowlers were immediately put under the pump by Conway and Bracewell. Although their bowlers picked up wickets regularly after breaking the opening partnership, they failed to stem the flow of the runs as the Firebirds accumulated 200 runs in their allotted 20 overs. McConchie was their best bowler and he returned with the figures of 4-0-29-1.
Chasing a total in the vicinity of 200 is always difficult regardless of the surface and it didn't prove to be any different for the Kings. Barring McConchie, their skipper, who scored 83, no batsmen was able to keep the runs flowing as they were completely dismantled for 135 in 18.2 overs.
Chad Bowes, TWM Latham, Stephen Murdoch, Cole McConchie, Andrew Ellis, Cameron Fletcher, Leo Carter, Henry Burton Shipley, Kyle Jamieson, Jeremy Benton, Ed Nuttall.
It's been just a couple of days since Northern Knights played their last league game where they just managed to survive against Auckland Aces. The win took them to top of the table position with three wins in four matches.
It was kind of a surface which wasn't as difficult to bat as much as it was to read. The Knights' incorrect reading of the surface was reflected when their top-order batsmen lost their wickets in a quest to score too quickly too soon. Both Anton Devcich and Dean Brownlie were dismissed within the first four overs before their innings was stabilized by Daryl Mitchell. His 78-run knock which consumed 51 deliveries which pushed their total into the respectable and competitive zone.
Anton Devcich and Scott Kuggeleijn were brilliant upfront as they kept it extremely tight in the first few overs. The pressure built by them resulted in a couple of wickets when Aces' batsmen tried to accelerate. Mitchell Santner picked up two important wickets before Kuggeleijn delivered the knockout punch with his quick four wickets.
Anton Devcich, Brett Hampton, Corey Anderson, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Daniel Flynn, Peter Bocock, Scott Kuggeleijn, Chris Jordan, N Wagner, Tarun Nethula.
It's the battle between the teams placed at the top and the bottom of the points table and it's not going to be easy for either team. Canterbury Kings have shown glimpses of individual brilliance in the field and have some terrific match-winners at their disposal. The Knights, on the other hand, have a balanced unit and have results to speak for themselves. Considering the way these two teams have played in the tournament so far, Northern Knights are certainly better-placed to win the upcoming encounter.
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