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|Logan van Beek||18||12||2||0||150.00|
|Henry Burton Shipley||2.0||0||28||0||14.00|
|Henry Burton Shipley||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|Logan van Beek||4.0||0||35||1||8.75|
Another week has elapsed in the ongoing Super Smash competition, but nothing much has changed in the points table as compared to the last week. Northern Knights and Otago Volts are still at the top of the points table with both the teams having eight points in two wins each. Wellington Firebirds are at the fourth spot and will take on Canterbury Kings who, too, will be looking to move up the table. The two teams will lock horns on 6th January at the Basin Reserve, Wellington.
Wellington Firebirds got off to a poor start in the competition, but thanks to a no-result and a win in their previous match, they aren't too far behind the rest of the pack. They have, although, played a game more than all of the current top-three teams, but it shouldn't really matter much if they're able to improve their performance going forward in the tournament.
After going through three poor games, Wellington Firebirds finally got one right and thrashed the Central Districts by a considerable margin. Bowling first after winning the toss, Firebirds' bowlers were exceptional with the ball and kept picking up wickets right through Stags' innings.
Skipper Hamish Bennett started the proceedings for them as he dismissed Dane Cleaver on the final delivery of the first delivery. Barring Jeetan Patel, all their bowlers kept it pretty tight throughout Stags' innings which helped them restrict the hosts to a subpar score. Hamish Bennett and Logan van Beek were the pick of the bowlers as they picked three wickets each. Although Sears went wicketless, he was economical and didn't really allow easy runs for the Stags. Patel, on the other hand, picked up a wicket but was remarkably expensive as compared to the figures of other bowlers in the innings.
It was surface with no apparent demons and needed a special effort from Stags' bowlers to defend their low total. Expectedly, they failed to do so as Firebirds overhauled the total with eight wickets in hand. Such was their dominance throughout the match that they chased down the total in 15.3 overs. The opening pair of Devon Conway and Michael Bracewell was exceptional as put together 94 runs for the first wicket in just 11 overs. Such was the impact of that opening partnership that despite taking a couple of quick wickets, the Stags never really stood a chance.
Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Adam Hose, Malcolm Nofal, TA Blundell, Michael Pollard, Logan van Beek, Ollie Newton, Jeetan Patel, Ben Sears, Hamish Bennett.
Although Canterbury Kings are placed below Wellington Firebirds in the points table, they have played a couple of games less than the Firebirds. A win for them in the upcoming encounter will take them to the second spot along with Northern Knights and Otago Volts.
The Kings have won only one match so far, but Kyle Jamieson has already looked super fluent. He registered the record figures of 6 for 7 and single-handedly demolished the Aces' batting lineup in what was Kings' last encounter.
Bowling first on a pacey surface, Kyle Jamieson extracted extra bounce and swung the ball hard to rock Auckland Aces early. Along with Jamieson's 6-for, Shipley contributed with an excellent supporting spell as he returned with the figures of 4-0-17-1. Although Ellis picked up a couple of scalps, he was a little too expensive as he conceded 32 in his two overs.
Considering it was a total where only survival should have been sufficient, it was surprising to see Kings lose five wickets in what should have been an easy chase. Barring McConchie and Carter who scored 47 and 25 runs respectively, no batsmen was able to stay at the wicket let alone score runs. Lortan's sedate 13 which took 20 deliveries were helpful towards the end as Kings scaled the total with 14 balls to spare and five wickets in hand.
Chad Bowes, Andrew Ellis, Stephen Murdoch, Cole McConchie, Leo Carter, Cameron Fletcher, Tyler Lortan, Henry Burton Shipley, Kyle Jamieson, Jeremy Benton, Ed Nuttall.
Both the sides had a rather poor beginning to the tournament but registered a win in their respective last games. Wellington Firebirds finally appeared to be at their full might in their last game where they rocked Central Stags. For Kings, it was Kyle Jamieson's effort which was largely responsible to get his team off the mark with his splendid spell of quick bowling. Kings' batting appeared to be a little shaky in both of their matches which might well be exploited by Firebirds in the upcoming match. Going by how things have gone in the competition so far, Firebirds have a superior batting lineup and will be wary of Kyle Jamieson's bowling. They're also playing at home which will certainly add to their chances of winning the upcoming encounter. Back Wellington Firebirds to win the upcoming fixture at the Basin Reserve on Sunday.
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