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13 Feb 2019 by Ash Wheldon

2018-2019 Super Smash League – Auckland Aces vs Central Stags Preview & Prediction

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AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 15th February, 03:10 (UK)

Where? Eden Park Outer Oval

Weather? 22-24c with sunshine and clear skies throughout

What channel is it on? The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Cricket

Where can I stream the match? The match will be streamed live on the Sky Go app

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

THE TEAM NEWS

AUCKLAND ACES

Coach: Mark O'Donnell

Captain: Craig Cachopa

  • Auckland Aces were big winners over Central Stags to ensure they earned the right for home advantage in their elimination final in the hope of progressing to meet Northern Knights in the Super Smash final.
  • Having been set a target of 175, which was partly thanks to Ronnie Hira taking 3-22, the Aces had no trouble in chasing it down with Daniel Bell-Drummond opening with 74 before Mark Chapman hit a superb unbeaten 75 off just 41 balls.
  • The Aces have received a huge boost with big-hitting Colin Munro available for the finals after he was told he would not be selected in the New Zealand side until the third and final game of the ODI series against Bangladesh.

CENTRAL STAGS

Coach: Heinrich Malan

Captain: Tom Bruce

  • Central Stags failed in their bid to secure a home semi-final as they were on the end of a heavy eight-wicket defeat by Auckland Aces in their last game and must now travel to Auckland once again for their elimination final.
  • The Stags were unable to kick on after a solid start to their innings and despite looking like they could post a score of 200+, they fell short of that mark to set the Aces 175 to win mainly because of the loss of regular wickets.
  • Adam Milne made a welcome return for the Stags after three months out with a hamstring injury and he will be keen to make an impression in front of the on-looking New Zealand selectors ahead of the World Cup.

THE PREDICTION

Central Stags have a huge task on their hands as they head to Auckland for their elimination final, the scene of an eight-wicket loss to the Aces just last week. The Aces dominated the match, taking regular wickets before easily chasing their target to ensure they earned home advantage for this game. The Stags will need to be much improved with both bat and ball but it looks set to be another disappointing trip for them with the Aces progressing to the final to play Northern Knights.

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