2018-19 Super Smash – Wellington Firebirds vs Central Stags Preview & Prediction

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 1st February, 03:00 (UK)

Where? Basin Reserve

Weather? 18-20c with some cloud but rain unlikely

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 picked up a vital 11-run win over Otago Volts on Sunday to put them back in contention for a play-off place as they sit just outside in fourth place after that impressive performance where they smashed a stunning 221/3 with Devon Conway hitting an unbeaten 105 from just 60 balls.
  • They have to make one enforced change as Jimmy Neesham had been called up to the Blackcaps’ squad so he is unavailable here and that is something of a blow to be without their key all-rounder for this crucial match.
  • They will not be too disheartened by the one absentee as they are one team that does not have many internationals and they have a settled team that is finding some form so that will give them confidence ahead of this game.

CENTRAL STAGS

Coach: Heinrich Malan

Captain: Tom Bruce

  • Central Stags had been in fine form with three consecutive victories until they came up against an inspired Northern Knights team last Friday and were hammered by 131 runs so they will look to bounce back against their main rival for third place.
  • George Worker makes his 100th T20 appearance while youngster Bayley Wiggins comes into the squad and could potentially make his debut, although he is most likely to sit on the sidelines for this one.
  • The Firdbirds beat them in the reverse fixture by eight wickets a few weeks ago so the Stags will be aware of the threat they pose and know that they will have to recapture their best form for this one.

THE PREDICTION

There is plenty on the line for this one with these two teams sitting third and fourth as they are vying for one of the play-off places. The Firebirds have the edge in momentum at present but the Stags were playing well prior to their slip up last time out. Over the course of the tournament, the Stags have been the better of the two teams and have the edge in quality on paper. However, the Firebirds cannot be ruled out in what promises to be an incredibly close affair.