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The Northern Knights have been the best side of the Super Smash T20 2019 season by a fair margin. They are at the top of the standings right now and have a chance to extend their lead further at the top. Whatever be the result of the game, the Northern Knights are almost guaranteed of finishing the top of the table with only a massive loss for them and a massive win for the Auckland Aces capable of changing the equation.
The Northern Knights are going to be taking on the Otago Volts. The Volts have not really done too well and only managed to win two matches in the Super Smash T20 this season. A win will help them end the season with some cheer but it can be difficult for a side to lift itself when there is nothing left to gain.
A large chunk of the Northern Knights starting eleven is going to be missing in this match. Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Siefert, Scott Kuggeleijn, Chris Jordan, Anton Devcich, and Ish Sodhi are all going to be busy with other commitments and not available for this match.
Most of them and maybe even all of them could be available for the next match that the Northern Knights play depending on how the results in the Big Bash League go.
Still, it is remarkable that the Northern Knights have been able to keep winning matches with so many of their players missing. It shows the depth that they have in their side as well as the depth that is present in New Zealand cricket at the moment.
There are some very impressive batsmen that are available to play for the Northern Knights in this match such as Brett Hampton, Dean Brownlie, Corey Anderson, and Nick Kelly. The absence of some top-order players could mean more time in the middle for all of these players.
We are very keen to see how Corey Anderson goes with more time to bat because he has a proven ability to deliver with the bat to back his claim for a New Zealand recall. Brett Hampton has also shown the priceless ability to hit sixes and keep the scoreboard ticking.
Some early loss of wickets could pile up the pressure on the Northern Knights but with nothing to lose, it is unlikely that the side is going to be focusing too much on the result anyway. Neil Wagner, Kyle Abbott, Tarun Nthula, and Corey Anderson make for a very impressive bowling unit which should ensure that the side remains competitive no matter who the opposition is.
Nick Kelly, Joe Carter, Dean Brownlie, Brett Hampton, Corey Anderson, Daniel Flynn, Peter Bocock, KY Abbott, N Wagner, Tarun Nethula, Zak Gibson.
The Otago Volts were destroyed by the Canterbury Kings in their previous match. Considering the fact that the Canterbury Kings are the bottom-placed side in the Super Smash League standings, the signs don’t look good for the Otago Volts.
Nothing has really gone right for the Otago Volts in this season of the Super Smash.
They have been woeful with the bat and struggled to find consistency from their players. Some big names of New Zealand cricket like Neil Broom, Hamish Rutherford, and Anaru Kitchen have failed to crack the 200 runs mark for the season.
There have been a total of three fifties hit in the entire season and a highest score of 65 shows that no batsman has been able to really make it count even after getting in. The Super Smash T20 competition is one of the highest scoring T20 leagues in the world and a side where the batsmen are not able to score consistently is just not going to be able to compete.
The Otago Volts will be hoping that one of their top-order batsmen can finish off with a high but the task is not going to be easy against a high-quality Northern Knights bowling attack.
The bowling for the Otago Volts has been a bit better. Christi Viljoen has taken 10 wickets while Jacob Duffy has taken 11. The pair of them has been consistent and proving in almost all the matches that they have played.
They have not had the kind of support that would make this bowling attack formidable, though, and opposition teams know that scoring opportunities are always around the corner. The Otago Volts bowlers will recognize they are playing against a Northern Knights side that is missing some of its best batsmen. A couple of early wickets could help them end the Super Smash 2019 season with a win.
Hamish Rutherford, NT Broom, Mitchell Renwick, MJ Rippon, Ben Cox, Anaru Kitchen, BS Wilson, C Viljoen, Nathan Smith, Tasman Jones, Jacob Duffy.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bowl first
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The Super Smash 2019 T20 match between the Northern Knights and the Otago Volts is going to be played at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui. There is a 10% chance of rain only on match day but the forecast improves further around the time that the match is going to start.
The pitch at Mount Maunganui is good for batting although some help for the fast bowlers with the new ball can be expected.
The Northern Knights have shown this season of the Super Smash that they have reserves deep enough to win despite not having a majority of their first choice players. We think they are very capable of doing the same against an Otago Volts side that has underperformed and underwhelmed consistently.
Back the Northern Knights to win.
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