2018-2019 Super Smash League – Northern Knights vs Central Stags Preview & Prediction

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 27th December, 06:00 (UK)

Where? Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

Weather? 16-18c with a chance of rain throughout the evening

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

NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Coach: James Pamment

Captain: Dean Brownlie

  • The Northern Knights kicked off their Super Smash campaign in emphatic fashion last Saturday by hitting 215/6 from their 20 overs against Wellington Firebirds and going on to ultimately win by 45 runs after bowling them all out for 170.
  • That impressive total came despite Anton Devcich being out for a second ball duck so he will be motivated to bounce back immediately but they will be heartened by the fact that skipper Brownlie smashed 99 from 46 balls and Seifert, Mitchell and Santner chipped in with good contributions.
  • One of the biggest pluses to come from that game was the return to fitness of New Zealand international Mitchell Santner after a serious knee injury and he came through that match fine so he will start again and form a talented spin attack with fellow international Ish Sodhi.

CENTRAL STAGS

Coach: Heinrich Malan

Captain: Tom Bruce

  • This match is a repeat of the Grand Final from last year in which the Knights hammered the Stags by nine wickets so they will be keen to avenge that heavy loss in what is their first match of this Super Smash campaign.
  • Their batsmen let them down in that game being restricted to 99/8 but they will hope their internationals such as George Worker and Tom Bruce, along with the talented Will Young can step up and do better here.
  • They have quality in the bowling department too with Seth Rance and Ben Wheeler in the squad for this match so they will hope to make this a more competitive game than that final and they have the quality to do so.

THE PREDICTION

The defending champions Northern Knights showed all their credentials once again in the opening match as they hammered the Firebirds at the weekend and will be confident of another win here. They face last season’s runners-up in the Stags who will be motivated to get revenge in their first game of the season. That said, despite fielding five internationals themselves, they may struggle against the quality within the Knights’ ranks ultimately. This could be a second win in two matches for the Knights.