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|Logan van Beek||2.0||0||20||1||10.00|
|Logan van Beek||18||12||1||1||150.00|
We are finally into the final league-day of the New Zealand's domestic T20 tournament, Burger King Super Smash, and there are two teams who are still to confirm their place in the semifinals, and only one of those two will go through. Otago Volts and Wellington Firebirds are placed at fifth and fourth spots respectively in the points table and the result of their upcoming games will govern their fate in the tournament. Wellington Firebirds are set to face Canterbury Kings on 9th February at Christchurch and a win there will not only push them into the playoff spot but also knock Volts out of the competition. With a probable playoff spot hinging on the result, we expect Wellington Firebirds to come out all guns blazing in this upcoming fixture.
Canterbury Kings are the only team who are no longer in contention for the semifinal spot. The tournament hasn't been a bright one for them, but they sure would have had plenty to take from it. They've won just two games in nine matches played with a total tally of eight points.
Contrary to how their tournament has gone so far, Canterbury Kings did extremely well in their last outing, against Otago Volts which pushed Volts to the brink of elimination from the tournament. Being in a nothing to lose situation allowed their batsmen to play fearlessly which paid off big-time. Bowes and MacRury got them off to a steady start which was taken forward exceedingly well by Murdoch. Although their skipper failed to contribute anything substantial, late assault by Jamieson and Fletcher pushed their total towards the north of 170 which eventually proved to be more than enough.
Although their batsmen did exceedingly well to get to a tall total, it were their bowlers who set up that win. Kyle Jamieson and Nuttal were the key figures in their bowling department and picked up six wickets between them in just a little over six overs. They had Volts four down for 20 inside the first five overs which really sealed the fate of the match.
Chad Bowes, Stephen Murdoch, Cole McConchie, Andrew Ellis, Cameron Fletcher, Kyle Jamieson, Jeremy Benton, TD Astle, Will Williams, Ed Nuttall, Leo Carter.
The Firebirds have had a mixed tournament thus far and have scored three wins in nine matches. Last week, they had two games where they won against Otago Volts but failed to garner two points against Central Districts.
Their opening bowlers failed to make any sort of impact in the first six overs after Central Stags won the toss and elected to bat first. Ravindra was tight in the first couple of overs, but Hamish Bennett and Newton leaked plenty of runs from the other end. Although van Beek and Jeetan Patel pulled things back during the middle part of the innings, Central Districts still managed to get to a competitive total.
Chasing it, Wellington Firebirds didn't get off to the start they were looking for and lost wickets in bunches throughout their chase. Their middle-order collapse wherein they slipped from 46 for 2 to 59 for 6 was the key reason for them falling them short. Despite the collapse, it was a commendable effort from Woodcock and their lower-order to take the match till the last over and reduce the deficit of the loss which could have been helpful if net run rate came into the picture.
Devon Conway, Michael Bracewell, Malcolm Nofal, Ollie Newton, Hamish Bennett, TA Blundell, Jeetan Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Logan van Beek, Luke Woodcock, Lauchie Johns.
The upcoming match is of mighty importance for the Wellington Firebirds, but they will stand a chance even if they lose the upcoming encounter. However, they will no longer stay in the driving seat as only a loss for Otago Volts in their encounter will keep Firebirds inside the top-four. Canterbury Kings did extremely well in their last game in a nothing to lose scenario. Although the match could swing either way, the Firebirds have a better team on paper and are more likely to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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