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Both the Otago Volts and the Central Districts Stags are both coming into this Burger King Super Smash T20 match on the back of a loss in their last outing. It was the first loss for the Volts who have now won two out of their three matches so far. They are at second on the Super Smash T20 League table in this early stage of the competition and would be hoping to continue this impressive start.
The Central Districts Stags have won just one match from their three and sit at the bottom of the Super Smash Standings. This is not really something to worry about since they are just one win away from the leaders at the top of the table.
The Otago Volts have been doing well in the competition thanks to some good contributions from most of their leading batsmen. Players like Broom, Kitchen, Hicks, and Cox have all been getting starts and scoring runs at a healthy strike rate.
Perhaps the biggest name in the side that has not been scoring runs is Rutherford at the top of the order. As someone who has played at the highest level and experienced a fair bit of success in previous editions of the Super Smash as well, we think it is not going to be long before Rutherford hits his stride.
Overall, this Otago Volts batting lineup is not the strongest but a number of players seem to be in pretty decent form.
Moving forward, we would pick out Kitchen and Hicks as the two players to watch out for.
One of the major reasons for the Otago Volts success has been the bowling of Christi Viljoen. This is the year that he qualifies for New Zealand international selection and he is doing his chances no harm by continuing to bowl very well in the Super Smash.
He had a four-wicket haul in the match before last and was very difficult to score off against Wellington in his last outing as well.
The form of Viljoen has added depth to the bowling resources of the Otago Volts alongside players like Duffy, Smith, and Rippon.
Once again, this is not the strongest bowling attack in the Super Smash but one that has the ability to make run scoring difficult for its opponents.
Playing 11 not yet available.
The Central Stags lost their previous match of the Super Smash against the Wellington Firebirds. It was a pretty comprehensive loss in which the Central Stags failed to score enough runs and be competitive.
This lack of runs would be starting to worry the Central Stags.
They have a pretty strong top order led by George Worker. He and Cleaver form a dangerous opening combination that is backed up by Young, Bruce, and Clarkson. Only Tom Bruce has shown some good form in the Super Smash but he is often coming into the bat when the side is already in trouble.
George Worker is in and around the New Zealand national set up. This is a World Cup year and he would dearly love to score enough runs to bring himself back into the forefront. This could be one of the reasons why he is putting more pressure on himself than is needed. After all, he made his name by being aggressive and backing his abilities and that is exactly what he needs to do now.
The Central Stags bowling attack has also been strictly average so far. Not one of their players figures in the top-3 runs scorers or the top-3 wicket takers at the moment.
Rance, Wheeler, Tickner, and Foxcroft have struggled to have much of an impact in the Super Smash so far, although, their batsmen have not given them the cushion of scoreboard pressure either.
The Central Districts have started the tournament slow and the way forward seems to be in the hands of the batsmen. If the batting does not click then the bowling does not seem to be strong enough to win matches on its own.
Playing 11 not yet available.
The side winning the toss is likely to field first
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The Super Smash T20 match between the Otago Volts and Central Districts Stags is going to be played at the University Oval, Dunedin. A lot of rain is forecast for match day in Dunedin although the preceding day and the one after match day are expected to be dry. We are hoping the forecast does not come true and we can get some cricket in.
The wicket at the University Oval is excellent to bat on. There is always good carry and bounce for the batsmen to exploit.
The Central Stags have not been in the best of form so far. Their batting is struggling and their bowling looks underwhelming. The Otago Volts, on the other hand, seem to be outperforming expectations at the moment.
We think it is better to continue to ride the Otago Volts momentum at the moment.
Back the Otago Volts to win.
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