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After a splendid Super Smash, New Zealand cricket now moves to the longer version of the game with Plunkett Shield in action. As many as three matches are set to begin on 11th March with all six teams getting to play on the opening day of the contest. Otago Volts will take on Canterbury Kings in one of the matches. The match will be played at Mainpower Oval (Recreation Ground), Rangiora.
Canterbury Kings have played four matches in the tournament so far and are leading the table at the moment. They have 62 points to their name with three wins and one draw. While they may not be as good a team in the shortest format of the game, they truly are a force to reckon with in the longer version, largely because of the experience they have at their disposal.
The Kings are coming off a draw in their last match, which coincidentally was against the Volts. Kings did well in both departments of the game but had to stay content with a draw as Otago Volts played out of their skins to end the match with just one wicket to spare.
On paper, the Kings have a spectacularly balanced side. They have three New Zealand's international players who all add depth and experience to the team. Other than them, the likes of Ken Mcclure and Colin McConchie have enough domestic experience to handle under-pressure situations. Besides that, their bowling looks solid on paper with Ed Nuttal, Fraser Sheat, and Will Williams doing well. Considering the form the Kings are in, getting past them is going to be challenging.
TWM Latham, Ken McClure, Henry Nicholls, Cole McConchie, Daryl Mitchell, Leo Carter, Cameron Fletcher, Matt Henry, Sean Davey, Will Williams, Fraser Sheat.
Even though Otago Volts failed to put up a satisfactory performance in the previous match, they'll still be pretty happy with the way they performed. After a poor show in the first innings, with the bat as well as the ball, they managed to draw the game, and managing so was certainly a commendable effort. As it stands now, the Volts are placed second from the bottom and will need something special to rise up the ladder.
We saw a special innings from Hamish Rutherford, Max Chu, and Travis Muller in the previous match, but the Volts will ideally want more contribution from their top order. On paper, the Volts have a decent team, but lack of experience could hurt them going forward. They have talented young cricketers and if they perform up to their potential, we might see Otago Volts causing an upset here.
Hamish Rutherford, Anaru Kitchen, Mitchell Renwick, Dale Phillips, Nick Kelly, Nathan Smith, MJ Rippon, Max Chu, Jacob Duffy, Michael Rae, Travis Muller.
Canterbury Kings had a fantastic Super Smash and are enjoying a similar run in the longer format as well. They are far ahead of the next best team on the points table and will be looking to maintain that gap. Considering how well they have done and the team they have on paper, betting on the Kings' win should be the way to go here.
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