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The Northern Knights have opened up a lead over the rest of the Super Smash teams but everyone else is closely bunched together. The Central Districts Stags will be taking on the Otago Volts in this match with hopefully the leading New Zealand players returning for both sides. This will be the second time that the two teams are going to be up against each other, however, the first match was abandoned due to rain.
The rained out fixture means that both teams have had a pretty long time off and should come into this match well rested. The Otago Volts have won two out of their four matches so far while the Central Stags have won just one out of their four. Both sides have points from one rained out fixture as well.
The Central Districts have been a little disappointing in this season of the Burger King Super Smash. They have not shown the kind of consistency that was expected of them and the pressure will now be mounting.
George Worker was one of the players to watch out for at the start of the competition. A fearsome hitter of the ball, he first came into the limelight on the back of some exceptional Super Smash performances. His game seems to be going through a bit of a rough patch, though. Not only is he getting out early but he is also eating up a lot of deliveries at the crease before getting out.
With Worker out of form, the responsibility on Cleaver, Young, and Bruce to score runs increases. Bruce started the tournament with a 99 and has been fighting a bit of lone battle for the Central Stags in this season of the Super Smash.
A few runs from Clarkson and Noema-Barnett in the last match would have given some hope to the Central Stags that their batting order is coming together. Until the top-order starts to fire consistently, though, the side is going to struggle.
The bowling unit of Rance, Tickner, Wheeler, and Foxcroft have been a little underwhelming. Tickner went for 48 runs in just three overs in his last match, something that rarely happens, and none of the other bowlers has been able to keep the opposition under pressure either.
George Worker, Will Young, Dean Foxcroft, Tom Bruce, Dane Cleaver, Josh Clarkson, KN Barnett, Willem Ludick, Ben Wheeler, Ajaz Patel, Blair Tickner.
The Otago Volts lost their last match of the Super Smash against the Northern Knights on a pitch that was really substandard for T20 cricket. The Volts could only score 99 runs in their allotted 20 overs and took seven wickets before the Northern Knights reached the target.
It is not easy to get any real inferences from the match because that is not how the vast majority of the pitches will behave.
Looking at the Otago Volts side, the batting looks to be in decent shape. Rutherford, Broom, Kitchen, Hicks, and Cox may not be the biggest names going around but they are a very experienced T20 unit and have been playing pretty well in this season of the Super Smash so far.
Some good batting conditions will allow their batsmen to flourish. We think that Kitchen and Hicks are the two batsmen which are likely to come up with a big score in the upcoming matches. A bet on them to be the highest scorers for the Otago Volts or even for the entire match may not be a bad call.
The success of the Otago Volts has also been down the bowling performance of Christi Viljoen. He is one of the leading wicket-takers of the competition and is already evoking calls of being an international New Zealand player in the near future.
This is the year in which he qualifies for New Zealand cricket and so he has plenty of motivation to continue doing well for his side.
The Otago Volts skipper, Duffy, also took three wickets in the last match and has been bowling well. With players like Kitchen, Rippon, and Bacon also contributing with the ball on a regular basis, the Otago Volta bowling is looking pretty good.
Hamish Rutherford, Anaru Kitchen, Shawn Hicks, Ben Raine, Ben Cox, Joshua Finnie, MJ Rippon, BS Wilson, Nathan Smith, Jacob Duffy, Jack Hunter.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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The Burger King Super Smash 2018-19 match between the Central Districts Stags and the Otago Volts is going to be played at McLean Park, Napier. The weather conditions are expected to be rain-free even though some clouds are around.
Conditions in Napier are expected to be excellent for batting and so we could see a very high-scoring match.
The Otago Volts have won two out of the three completed matches against the Central Stags. The Volts have also been in better form than the Stags and seem to have a better bowling attack. We think they should be able to win this match as well.
Back the Otago Volts to win.
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