Hagley Oval, Christchurch, February 09 Saturday at 08:30 AM IST
Bottom-rooted Canterbury Kings will be looking for a season-ending win as they host playoff hopefuls Wellington Firebirds in the Super Smash T20 League match at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, on early Saturday morning.
Canterbury Kings: The 2nd most successful Cricket team in New Zealand's domestic circuit
In every domestic sports league, there are always a handful of teams who enjoy a unique stature and command respect from the opponents. The history books sing songs about their illustrious past, raves about their success, and one bad season can't really put a stain on their reputation.
In New Zealand, Auckland Aces and Canterbury Kings are two of the most successful cricket teams till date. But the present matters, it sows the seed for the future. And in that regard, Canterbury is clearly on the doldrums.
The Kings have endured a very bad season in the Super Smash T20 league, and are propping up the table at the moment. They have just 8 points from nine games and are destined to finish the campaign as the worst performing team this season.
It could have been a different story:
Though Canterbury lost their opening game of the season against Otago Volts, they did flex their muscles in the 2nd game, beating Auckland Aces by 5 wickets. But the victories were too esoteric after that, and they had to wait a month for the next positive result.
After beating the early tournament favourites, the Kings failed to use that win as a thrust for their own aspirations. Their next win came only in the last game, a 30 run win over Otago Volts.
Kings have a star to behold:
One of the biggest highlights in Kings' stuttering season is the performance of fast bowler Kyle Jamieson. The 24-year-old has taken 19 wickets so far in the tournament, most in the Super Smash League this season.
Do or die for Wellington Firebirds:
For the visitors, the match is of paramount importance. All the season's good work comes down to this match, an end to all things hopes or another step towards the ultimate glory.
Wellington Firebirds are sitting at fourth on the table, only two points above Otago Volts. Since top-four teams qualify for the playoffs, a win will take the Firebirds to the post-season.
The probable WEL vs CTB playing 11 is listed below.
Wicketkeeper- C Fletcher
Batsmen- Chad Bowes, Steve Murdoch (Doubt: Leo Carter)
All-rounder- Kyle Jamieson, Cole McConchie, Andrew Ellis, Todd Astle
Bowlers – Will Willams, Edward Nuttall, H Shipley, Jeremy Benton
Wicketkeeper– Tom Blundell
Batsmen– Michael Bracewell, D Conway, (Doubt: Lauchie Johns)
All-rounder – Luke Woodcock, Rachin Ravindra
Bowlers– Ben Sears, Hamish Bennett, Jeetan Patel, Ollie Newton, L Van Beek
Cole McConchie(c), Kyle Jamieson, Tom Macrury, Chad Bowes, Henry Shipley, Leo Carter, Andrew Ellis, Cam Fletcher, Steve Murdoch, Todd Astle, Edward Nuttall, Will Williams
Hamish Bennett(c), Logan Van Beek, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Jeetan Patel, Devon Conway, Troy Johnson, Malcolm Nofal, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Ollie Newton, Luke Woodcock
Fantasy picks from Wellington-
Devon Conway – 352 runs in 8 innings || M Bracewell – 258 runs in 8 innings || T Blundell – 143 runs in 7 innings
Jeetan Patel and O Newton – 11 wickets each || H Bennett – 9 wickets
Fantasy picks from Canterbury-
Cole McConchie – 229 runs in 9 innings || C Bowes – 204 runs in 9 innings || C Fletcher – 162 runs in 9 innings
K Jamieson – 19 wickets || A Ellis – 8 wickets