About the Match
The Northern Knights are currently sitting on top of the league table and will be taking on the Otago Volts in an effort to extend their lead. With two wins from three matches, the Knights have hit some reasonable form in the tournament while the Volts are still looking for their first win. Can the Otago Volts hit back in this match?
Northern Districts Knights
Losing their first match could have been a setback for the Northern Knights but they roared back into form thanks to a brilliant Tom Siefert century against the Auckland Aces. They then followed that victory up with a nail-biter against the defending champions, the Wellington Firebirds, which puts the Knights in an excellent position moving forward.
The architects of their victories so far have been Tom Siefert, Dean Brownlie, and some very effective bowling by their lead bowlers. Siefert’s hundred was one of the best innings to have been seen in the Super Smash and will put a lot of expectations on his shoulders every time he comes out to bat.
It remains to be seen whether he can back that performance up with some more and really turn this tournament into one that will catapult him into the national side. Brent Arnel and Ish Sodhi have been the two best bowlers for the Northern Knights even though they are different kinds of bowlers.
Arnel is a defensive bowler that looks to keep the runs down waits for the batsmen to make a mistake while Sodhi goes for wickets with each one of his deliveries. It is an approach that can pay off big time or cause him to go for a massive amount of runs.
The Northern Knights have been far from flawless but they have shown the will to fight and win the important moments in their games up until now.
The Otago Volts have lost one match emphatically while the other got washed out and so they are still without a win in this tournament. The Volts came up against a rampaging Ben Stokes and suffered a massive defeat by 134 runs.
This is something that could come back and haunt them in the latter stages of the tournament if they reach a stage where they are on equal points with another team and the net run rate comes into play.
Even though the Otago batting was shot out for 83 in the only match they have played so far, it is not a lineup to be taken lightly. They have Rob Nichol, Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom, and Jimmy Neesham making up the top order.
Anaru Kitchen is also a decent bat giving this team some good depth.
We think that Rutherford and Broom are going to be key for the Volts in the upcoming matches although they will have to work on getting the tempo up in their batting.
The Otago Volts bowling could be a bit of a concern for them as it lacks a quality spin option and does not have any real pace either. In T20 cricket the bowlers cannot simply turn up and bowl at the same kind of pace otherwise they will be cannon fodder.
Their opponents are not the strongest batting lineup but some of their players are in excellent form.
Duffy picked up five wickets for the Otago Volts in the first match but everyone else needs to be better especially Jimmy Neesham who was once considered a genuine all-rounder for New Zealand.
Pitch and Conditions
Hamilton has been an excellent batting ground this season and we expect the pitch to be perfect for strokeplay once again. The weather is expected to be cloudy with a 20% chance of rain. The wind could also be a factor in which direction the batsmen aim to go big.
Scores of 180 should be considered par in this game.
The Northern Knights have lost the last five matches against the Otago Volts and will be looking to break this run of losses. We, however, have a feeling that the Knights could run out of steam in this game and that the Volts will register their first win of the season.
Back the Otago Volts to win