2018-19 Super Smash – Central Stags vs Northern Knights Preview & Prediction

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 25th January, 06:10 (UK)

Where? McLean Park

Weather? 23-28c and partly cloudy 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

CENTRAL STAGS

Coach: Heinrich Malan

Captain: Tom Bruce

  • Central Stags won their third Super Smash match in a row on Saturday as they beat the Canterbury Kings by 17 runs in a high-scoring and highly entertaining battle at McLean Park last time out.
  • While it was the Stags’ bowling unit that shone in their previous victory against the Kings, this time around the batting order were in spectacular form, as they posted a giant total of 225/5, with Bruce and Foxcroft making impressive half-centuries, and Young only 11 runs shy of a century from 50 balls.
  • It may be a slight concern to coach Malan that after setting such a mammoth target, the victory was not as comfortable as it perhaps should have been, and with Seth Rance not in the Stags’ squad, Patel and Wheeler will be relied on to break down the Knights’ batting order.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Coach: James Pamment

Captain: Dean Brownlie

  • The Northern Knights extended their impressive winning streak to five games by beating the Canterbury Kings by six runs last Wednesday at Seddon Park in a match that was reduced to 16 overs as they remain top of the Super Smash ladder.
  • The Knights are forced into personnel changes for this one as spin duo Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi have both joined the New Zealand squad for their ODI match against India so that weakens them significantly.
  • Without Santner and Sodhi, coach James Pamment will be hoping for big performances from talented all-rounders Corey Anderson and Scott Kuggeleijn, as well as Kyle Abbott, who has hit the ground running since his move to the Knights earlier this month.

THE PREDICTION

This could be a spectacular match at McLean Park as the top two teams in the tournament square up against each other, with both sides in fantastic form. The Stags sit second in the table but can take confidence from their recent victory over the Knights at the back end of last year. That was the Knights’ only defeat in the Super Smash this season, and with key absentees in the shape of Santner and Sodhi, an in-form Stags batting line-up may just give them the edge over the Knights this time around too.