About the Match
The Otago Volts are still without a win in the Super Smash 2017/18 and their season seems to be continuing on a path to disaster. The Auckland Aces were denied the chance to beat the defending champions twice in two days due to rain but are sitting pretty comfortably with 2 wins from their four matches.
This is the time when the Volts have to find something special within them or they risk being the first team to have no chance of qualification very shortly.
The Volts have struggled massively this season and a large part of that can be put down to their batting. No one seems to be able to get runs consistently or push the scoring rate upwards. Only two fifties have been scored by their batsmen collectively so far, only two batsmen have more than 30 runs to their name, and two batsmen have hit more than a solitary six after four matches in the tournament.
Nicol and Hicks are the two batsmen that have been the exception to these rules but even their records are strictly average. Hicks has only played two innings but has looked promising coming in the middle order and could be the one to provide some impetus to this batting unit.
It is very disappointing to see batsmen like Jimmy Neesham, Neil Broom, and Hamish Rutherford fail match after match in a domestic tournament. All three of these batsmen have international experience and would expect a better return from themselves.
Neesham has at least done better with the ball taking five wickets although he is giving runs at an economy rate of 11.27, lesser only then Kitchen who is not a regular bowler.
The bowling for the Volts has been led by Duffy and Barnes. Duffy started with 5 wickets in his opening match and has added two more but Barnes has been more consistent and his 6 wickets have come at a team-best economy rate of 7.54.
Things are not looking good for the Volts and they are up against a team that has looked in awesome form this season.
The Aces won an incredible match against the Wellington Firebirds on Christmas eve and had a return match planned against them for boxing day as well. The second of those matches got washed away, though, and so the Aces stay at two wins from four matches.
The Aces have tasted success this season thanks to their batting being in terrific form. O’Donnell, Phillips, and Chapman have all been brilliant while they also have Munro and Guptill to look forward to when not on international duty.
There are five batsmen that are striking the ball above 150 and all of them have hit more than 4 sixes each in the competition so far. If it were just down the batting then this would be a no contest.
The bowling for the Aces, though, is a little more suspect. The flipside of having to chase down big totals is that they have been giving away so many runs in the first place. Tarun Nethula has been their standout bowler with seven wickets but apart from that everyone else has traveled the distance.
Curran, Lister, Horne, and Nidamanuru have all been expensive which is something that could hurt the Auckland Aces in the upcoming matches.
The Aces play this match against one of the weakest batting lineups in the competition and so we expect their bowling to do better but another poor performance here could really ratchet up the pressure on all the bowlers.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is expected to be excellent for this match and the current forecast is only showing a 10% chance of showers. We can hope to see a full match played on a ground with some ridiculously short boundaries.
The big hitters will be queuing up to bat in this one. Scores of 180 should be crossed pretty easily.
The last five matches between the Otago Volts and the Auckland Aces have seen two no-results and the three victories for the Aces. In fact, the most recent three matches have all been victories for the Auckland Aces.
We are backing the Aces to continue this domination and win. Back the Auckland Aces to win