About the Match
Canterbury recently defeated Otago by 6 wickets and have overtaken Northern Knights in the points table to occupy the No.1 position with 12 points in their kitty; they will take on hosts Wellington, who are placed 4th with 8 points, on 28th December at Wellington for the 15th match of the series. Wellington, who suffered defeat against Auckland by 2 wickets on Sunday, will try to put their best foot forward here and make a comeback before its too late; Canterbury, on the other hand, registered two consecutive wins and would be determined to keep their winning momentum going.
Batting first against Auckland, Luke Ronchi posted a brilliant century off just 46 deliveries to help register 206 runs; Samit Patel, Hamish Marshall and Devon Conway kept the scoreboard ticking and later the bowlers tried to stifle the opponents but lost the match by 2 wickets. Spinner Luke Woodcock dismissed 2 wickets while medium-pacer Anurag Verma also claimed 2-46. Others like Samit Patel, Jeetan Patel, and Ollie Newton took a wicket each, but they gave away too many runs in the end.
Against Northern Knights, spinners Samit Patel and Jeetan Patel took 5 wickets to stifle them at 145; however, the batsmen failed to chase down the humble target and lost the match by 1 run. Wicket-keeper batsman Devon Conway posted 53 off 36 while Luke Woodcock scored 39 before getting run-out. The drastic fall of wickets in the last overs led to their defeat, and they would surely try to make amends here.
Wellington has done well to climb up the table and they would try to make a comeback here with the home advantage on their side.
They easily down 145 runs against Otago in the last match thanks to a powerful 48 by Nick Kwant and good contributions by Cole McConchie and Cam Fletcher, who scored 31 runs each to steer the team across the finish line. Earlier, captain and fast-bowler Andrew Ellis put up an inspirational performance, taking 5 wickets for just 16 runs and restricting the opponents to 144. Spinners Tim Johnston, Jeremy Benton and Cole McConchie took 4 wickets each and are in good form to repeat the show here.
Against Central Districts, the batsmen posted a challenging total of 174 thanks to a superb 82 off 55 by Chad Bowes and 43 runs scored by Cam Fletcher, who has proved to be a strong asset in the middle order. All-rounder Ben Stokes also pitched in with 23 runs and the bowlers then led by spinner Jeremy Benton’s 3-27 helped win the match by 17 runs. Ben Stokes, Cole McConchie, Ed Nutall and Will Williams dismissed one opponent each and bring variety to the bowling attack.
Canterbury has proved to be a formidable force to reckon with in recent games and look well placed to continue with their good performance in the upcoming match.
Wellington has experienced players in the batting and bowling departments, and have come close to winning games recently but couldn’t surge through the finish line. The home advantage here gives Wellington the edge but we feel that Canterbury bowlers are in superb form to stifle the hosts and win the contest.