About the Match
The Canterbury Kings will be taking on the defending champions, the Wellington Firebirds, at Christchurch in what should be a keenly contested match. The Firebirds and the Kings are just separated by just two points and have won the same number of matches. Some rain around in Christchurch could be one of the factors that teams keep in mind when approaching this match.
It has been four matches now since the Canterbury Kings have tasted victory although the last one was not their fault. Incessant rain made it impossible for their match to be played against the Northern Districts and they now await their next game against the Wellington Firebirds to make a comeback into this tournament.
The Canterbury Kings would not have been too unhappy about their no-result points to be honest because the Northern Districts have been very good this season. The Firebirds, on the other hand, represent a better opportunity since they have been quite inconsistent in their performances.
The King will be hoping for plenty of runs from the likes of Bowes, Fletcher, and McConchie now that the international players will once again be no longer available for selection. An ideal scenario for them would be Pollard going absolutely nuts at the top of the order and playing one of the knocks that he so often does in New Zealand domestic cricket.
Ellis, who has 12 wickets to his name, will be leading the bowling attack with support from McConchie, Astle, and Johnston. The Kings have been getting in decent positions but not been following through and that is something they will need to fight against.
They need a spark of individual brilliance to set them on their way again.
The Firebirds would be a little disappointed with their Super Smash season this year after having won the tournament last time around. They brought in Samit Patel as a reputed all-rounder but even his presence has not helped their batting too much.
Luke Ronchi remains their most dangerous batsman and has already hit one century this season. He is the kind of batsman that can either win you the game in a hurry or return to the pavilion even faster. We expected Hamish Marshall to have had a bit more impact but he is yet to register a single fifty plus score in this tournament.
In fact, apart from the Luke Ronchi century, only Michael Bracewell and Conway have hit a fifty each.
The Firebirds will know that the Canterbury Kings are a dangerous batting side and they cannot take them lightly just because they have hit a rough patch.
Hopefully, for them, their bowlers led by Jeetan Patel and Samit Patel, will b able to prevent the Kings batsmen from hitting form in this game. Both of them are international quality spinners that keep things tight and take wickets through the constant build-up of pressure rather than any major variations.
With Anurag Verma also in the wickets, the Firebirds seem to have the stronger bowling attack of the two teams.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather forecast is much better for this match and is currently predicting a cloudy day without rain. That should mean we get a full match in without any interruptions. The ball always swings a little at Christchurch and the pitch is a little on the slower side. We think there are plenty of runs to be had with the small boundaries coming into play.
The Canterbury Kings have a 2-2 record against the Wellington Firebirds over the last five matches with the remaining one being a tie. We are backing the Kings to win this match and start their ascent back up the table.
Back the Canterbury Kings to win