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17 Jan 2019 by Rob Esteva

2018-19 Super Smash – Wellington Firebirds vs Auckland Aces Preview & Prediction

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AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 18th January, 04:00 (UK)

Where? Basin Reserve

Weather? 19-21c with some cloud but no rain forecast

What channel is it on? This match will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream the match? This match cannot be streamed in the UK

Are tickets still available? https://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/show.aspx?sh=NZCSMASH19

THE TEAM NEWS

WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS

Coach: Bruce Edgar

Captain: Hamish Bennett

  • Wellington Firebirds are coming off a defeat to leaders Northern Knights last time out as they fell narrowly short by 12 runs in a run chase, but they will not be disheartened by that especially having won their previous two matches.
  • They are boosted by the return of star all-rounder Jimmy Neesham who returns from international duty and from a slight injury concern, but he is fit to play and will add a key dimension to the team with bat and ball.
  • In the two matches that they have won in the Super Smash this year, opener Michael Bracewell has been key by hitting half centuries in both and they will need him to be on form here once again.

AUCKLAND ACES

Coach: Mark O'Donnell

Captain: Craig Cachopa

  • The previous meeting earlier in the Super Smash between these two teams was abandoned without a ball being bowled and the Aces have had another match abandoned when they were in a good position to win so their campaign has been relatively stop-start so far.
  • They are able to count on their key internationals for this match as Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro are all available and have been named in the squad so they will make a significant impact to the quality.
  • The batting line-up especially looks incredibly strong with those internationals joining Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips, while Ferguson will join a talented bowling attack in Mitch McClenaghan and Will Somerville.

THE PREDICTION

This match promises to be a cracker and the fact that so many international players are available only adds to the intrigue. The Aces have a formidable squad of players at their disposal when their international players like Guptill, Munro and Ferguson are available, while the Firebirds can only add Neesham to their squad. With little to choose between each team’s performance in the first half of the Super Smash, the quality in the Aces ranks cannot be underestimated and they have to be favoured to win this match.

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