About the Match
The Canterbury Kings will be taking on the Auckland Aces in a match where the winner will progress to the top of the table. Both the teams have played 5 matches and won three, although, the Auckland Aces have an extra two points because of a rained out game. These ARE two of the most impressive teams in the competition and will want to win just to keep away from the trailing pack.
A lot of attention has been on the Canterbury Kings because of Ben Stokes and while he did provide with them a match-winning inning, the experience of playing with arguably the best all-rounder in the world would have left them a lot richer as well.
There is plenty of batting firepower in the Canterbury Kings lineup. Leading from the top is Henry Nicholls, who should be available for the remained of the competition, with a strong middle order containing Bowes, McConchie, and Fletcher to provide the thrust.
Fletcher, in fact, is the leading run-scorer for the Canterbury Kings with 149 runs from 5 innings. He has only been out twice in this competition and is scoring runs at a strike rate of 175.29. We would love to see him bat a bit further up the order if anything so that he can face more deliveries in every match.
Pollard has also shown the ability to clear the boundaries at the top of the order but he really needs to be a lot more consistent.
The Canterbury Kings also have a decent bowling unit with the likes of Astle, Ellis, Johnston, and McConchie with all of them giving away runs at under 8 runs an over, which is fantastic for T20 cricket.
The Kings need to regroup quickly from their last loss, though, and ensure that they get back into the groove of things.
The Auckland Aces have lost Glen Phillips and Colin Munro to international duty from the top of their order and that is going to be a huge gap to fill. Solia made an encouraging beginning to his Super Smash tournament as he scored 34 runs from 24 deliveries but he is not going to put the same fear in the opposition like Phillips and Munro.
Even with their first choice openers missing, the Auckland Aces have plenty of firepower in their middle order. Mark Chapman, Craig Cachopa, and Robert O’Donnell are all having excellent tournaments.
O’Donnell is the one currently leading the run-scoring chart for the Aces with 143 runs from just four innings. He has also hit the most sixes in the team and been dismissed just once in the entire tournament.
The Aces seem to have the better batting side in this match but their bowling is pretty evenly matched to the Canterbury Kings. Sam Curran, Tarun Nethula, and Benjamin Lister are the three most important bowlers in their side and they have all had some good days with some very bad days.
Nethula has 8 wickets to his name but his economy rate is very high. In fact, all of the regular bowlers have an economy rate of 9.00 or thereabouts.
The Aces will need to bowl much better because their batting will not be able to bail them out each time.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather forecast for match day in Christchurch is for clear weather with some clouds floating around harmlessly. We should be able to get in a full game without any trouble. The pitch at Christchurch has been excellent for batting so far and there is no reason for that to change. We could be looking at a 200 plus game here.
Three of the last five matches between the Canterbury Kings and the Auckland Aces have been won by the Auckland Aces, one of them was a tie, and the other was won by Canterbury. The three most recent ones have been wins for the Aces.
We think the Auckland Aces will be able to continue their recent dominance of the Canterbury Kings and win this game as well.
Back the Auckland Aces to win