About the Match
Northern Knights defeated Auckland by 6 wickets recently and they are now in the first place with 26 points; they will take on Canterbury, who is in the 3rd place with 18 points, at Hamilton on 14th January. Canterbury lost to Auckland by 4 wickets recently and had defeated Wellington by a whopping 62 runs; the last time they had to go up against Northern Knights, the game was washed away by rain and now they will be eager to climb up the ladder by winning the upcoming match. Northern Knights have been on a winning roll and will put up a tough fight to keep their momentum going.
Chasing 203 against Auckland, Anton Devcich posted 76 off 37 to steer the team across the finish line; Daniel Flynn and Daryl Mitchell scored well-made half-centuries and they won the match by 6 wickets. Earlier, spinner Ish Sodhi took 2 wickets while Brett Randell and Anton Devcich dismissed one opponent each; however, they couldn’t stop the Auckland batsmen from setting up 202 runs.
Against Otago, they had to chase 157 runs and the openers Tim Seifert and Anton Devcich partnered to take the team safely across the finish line. While Devcich scored 88 off 51, Seifert scored 55 off 41 and they are in good form to repeat the winning performance here too. The bowling unit did well to contain the opponents, with Chris Jordan, Daryl Mitchell and Brett Randell taking 2 wickets each. Joe Walker and Anton Devcich dismissed one opponent each and they add depth to the attack.
The Knights are a strong unit that has done well throughout the series; they have qualified for the knock-out stage and will try to finish the league on a high.
Batting first against Auckland in the last match, Canterbury could muster only 145 runs after the top-order collapsed like a pack of cards. Cam Fletcher and Andrew Ellis tried to revive the innings by scoring 40+ runs each but they had no support from other middle order players like Cole McConchie and Leo Carter. The bowlers then tried to defend the total with pacer Kyle Jamieson and Will Williams taking 2 wickets each; spinner Cole McConchie and Andrew Ellis took a wicket each, but they couldn’t stop Auckland from winning the match.
However, against Wellington, the bowlers defended a humble total of 150 runs thanks to a superb performance by speedsters Ed Nuttall and Kyle Jamieson, who took 3 wickets each, and a contained spell by Andrew Ellis. Cole McConchie, Tim Johnston, and Will Williams took a wicket each to help wrap up a big win by 62 runs. They got the opponents all-out for a measly 88 runs during their chase.
Canterbury has had a mixed run so far, and they will fight till the last ball to try and make it to the next stage with a win here.
Northern Knights come here at the back of a win and have nothing to lose as they lead the points table; Canterbury, on the other hand, is facing stiff competition from other teams to qualify for the semi-finals and face a critical situation here. The contest could be well fought by both sides but we feel that the hard-hitting Knights will have the advantage to emerge victorious on Sunday.