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|Logan van Beek||4.0||0||43||0||10.75|
|Logan van Beek||0||0||0||0||0.00|
The top of the table in Super Smash is in a pretty delicate position with Otago Volts and Wellington Firebirds going almost neck and neck. While there is no significant advantage of finishing at the top of the ladder, the team finishing at the top of the table would certainly end up with most confidence than any other team in the tournament. Up next in the tournament, Wellington Firebirds are set to take on Northern Knights, who are placed at the bottom the points table. The match between the two sides is to be played on Wednesday, 1st January 2020, at Bay Oval, Mount Maungunai. For Northern Knights, 2019 wasn't a year to remember and they would like to begin the new year with a bang.
Northern Knights have had a dimsal run in the tournament so far and are at the bottom of the table as of now. In a total of five matches played, they have won just one of those. They have six points to their name and a poor net run-rate of -1.763 is going to be of significant disadvantage as well.
The only win for the Knights has come against the Aces and that was quite some time ago. The played a match against Otago Volts on 29th December and faced a heavy defeat. Batting first against the Volts, the Districts scored a total of 179. Daryl Mitchel Tim Seifert played useful hands of 39 and 54 respectively to guide them to a respectable total.
In their previous matches, the Knights' bowling had done pretty well. Their bowling, however, failed to weave the same magic as Volts chased their total down with significant ease. Daryl Mitchell and Anurag Verma were the pick of their bowlers as they returned with the impressive figures of 1 for 26 and 2 for 31 in their four over spell.
Tim Seifert, Anton Devcich, Dean Brownlie, Joe Carter, Brett Hampton, Daryl Mitchell, Daniel Flynn, Scott Kuggeleijn, IS Sodhi, Anurag Verma, Brett Randell.
Although they are placed at the second spot on the ladder, the Firebirds have arguably been the best side in the tournament. They have won four of the five matches played and have 16 points to their name. Their net run-rate of 0.474 is an evidence of how dominant they have been.
They are coming off a superb show over Auckland Aces in their previous matches wherein their bowlers did a vital job of restricting Aces to a total of 133. Malcolm Nofal and Ollie Newton were brilliant with the ball and returned with the figures of 2 for 13 and 2 for 39. Their bowlers have been doing pretty well and are likely to play a key role in this upcoming encounter as well.
More than their bowling, its been their batting that has played an instrumental role in taking them to a position they are currently in. The likes of Devon Conway, James Neesham, and Michael Pollard have been brilliant from them and have done bulk of the scoring. With the kind of batting lineup they have, its going to be a tough ask for the Knights to bowl to them.
Devon Conway, Michael Pollard, Rachin Ravindra, Michael Bracewell, James Neesham, Fraser Colson, Jamie Gibson, Malcolm Nofal, Logan van Beek, Ollie Newton, Hamish Bennett.
The Knights are in a do-or-die position and survival is at stake for them. A win here would keep them in the tournament whereas a loss would make things extremely difficult for them, considering the position they are in. The Knights, on the other hand, have been inconsistent and they'd need to play out of their skins to challenge in-form Firebirds. Comparing the two sides on form and on the basis of form in the tournament, Wellington Firebirds are firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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