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The Super Smash T20 2019 has come along pretty nicely and the league table is very close right now. The Northern Knights are the only the side to have separated themselves from the rest but only one win separates everyone else.
This next match will see the Wellington Firebirds take on the Auckland Aces. The Firebirds have won two out of their six matches of which one was a washout while the Aces have won one of their five matches in the Super Smash this season. Two matches of the Auckland Aces were washed out as well.
Now that the New Zealand international players are once again available for the Super Smash matches, we can expect the caliber of the cricket to improve as well.
The Wellington Firebirds have done pretty well in the Super Smash competition so far. Michael Bracewell is currently the second highest scorer in the Super Smash and has been leading the challenge for the Firebirds. Bracewell bats at the top of the order and has shown the ability bat through the inning.
It is not like he is the only good batsman in the Wellington Firebirds but it is clear that is their biggest player.
We like the manner in which Hose and Blundell have been playing as well.
In the last match, the Wellington Firebirds failed to chase down 158 runs largely because Bracewell got out cheaply. Hose scored a fifty and Blundell contributed as well but the lack of runs from the top order proved to be too much to overcome.
If Conway, Johnson, and Pollard can also start contributing with the bat then the Firebirds will be a much more consistent side.
Jeetan Patel has been bowling very well in T20 cricket for the last couple of years. This season has not been the best for him in the Super Smash but he is by no means having a bad year. Jeetan Patel has been effective at slowing down the run rate and keeping a tight lid on the batsmen but the wickets have not been as many as Wellington would have liked.
He is the best bowler in a lineup that also features Hamish Bennett, van Beek, and Newton.
Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Adam Hose, James Neesham, TA Blundell, Troy Johnson, Logan van Beek, Ollie Newton, Jeetan Patel, Ben Sears, Hamish Bennett.
Auckland Aces have been plagued by some terrible weather that has prevented them from playing their best cricket. The side is bolstered by the return of its best players and will be hoping for some improved luck int he upcoming matches.
A batting top-order with Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, and Glenn Phillips in the top-3 is spoiled for choice. There is also Mark Chapman to follow and some quality bowlers to round things out.
Colin Munro is ranked as the best T20 batsman in the world right now and it is difficult to argue with that. He has the ability hit centuries in T20 cricket, can hit sixes at any point in the game, and has improved his success rate as well.
Partnering him is perhaps one of the most dangerous batsmen in World Cricket, Martin Guptill. Not only is Guptill back to full fitness, but he is also in some terrific form.
He scored a century for the Black Caps, scored 62 not out in the last game, and is looking set to take this tournament by storm. Choose one of these two players as the pick to be the highest scorer in the match. Nothing is certain in this world but this is as safe a bet that you can get.
The Auckland Aces also have a bowling lineup that is boasting of some international talent. Mitchell McClenaghan may not be playing for New Zealand anymore but has enough T20 experience playing around the world to be regarded as a serious bowler to watch out for. McClenaghan comes hard at the opposition, no matter what kind of the surface, but give him a track with some bounce in it and he can be very difficult to face.
Will Somerville made his test debut for New Zealand just a month or so back and spun the side to a victory. It was a fairy tale start to his test career, one which even he thought would never come to fruition. He showed in this tournament that there is more to him than just bowling as he played a blinder of an inning and almost win his side a lost match.
Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, GD Phillips, Mark Chapman, Craig Cachopa, Robert O'Donnell, Donovan Grobbelaar, Ronnie Hira, W Somerville, MJ Mcclenaghan, Matthew Quinn.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The Super Smash T20 match between Wellington Firebirds and Auckland Aces is going to be played at the Basin Reserve, Wellington. Thankfully, the forecast for the match is pretty good with only a 10% chance of showers.
The Basin Reserve is one of the best pitches in the country and we are hopeful of seeing a high scoring match. The small boundaries make six hitting pretty easy and this is why a lot of teams prefer to bat second here.
A full strength Auckland Aces side is going to be difficult to stop. Their batting is just a little too strong to look past.
Back the Auckland Aces to win.
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