With little over a week of cricket remaining in the Super Smash 2021 league stage, the competition is getting incredibly tight. The top of the points table appears to be quite tight, with Canterbury Kings, Northern Districts, Wellington Firebirds, and Auckland Aces all vying for first place, and the next few games will be crucial for all of these teams.

Northern Knights will face Wellington Firebirds in the following round of the championship, in a match that might make things more exciting at the top. A win for the Wellington Firebirds will reopen the points table, whilst a win for the Districts will make the race for second and third place more competitive.

On the 16th of January 2021, the two teams will meet at Whangarei’s Cobham Oval (New).

Northern Knights

Northern Districts have been utterly destroying their opponents in the Super Smash 2021 thus far, despite their poor performance in the longer format of the tournament. In terms of the shorter form of the game, they have always had an excellently balanced side, and their depth has truly helped them out here despite the absence of the great players.

Northern Districts are presently in first place on the table, with five wins and one loss from seven games. They have 22 points to their credit, as well as an astounding net run rate of 0.725, demonstrating their dominance. A victory here will solidify their dominance at the top, and that is precisely what they will be striving for.

Northern Districts are coming off a huge 19-run win over Central Stags, a win that may not appear to be huge in terms of margin, but it was in terms of the way the match unfolded. Colin de Grandhomme was outstanding, as he single-handedly wrested the game from Central Districts before their bowlers clinched the deal.

Northern Knights have a well-balanced team on paper, and they just demonstrated their strength and depth in their latest match. They will be full of confidence as a result of their recent run and the manner in which they performed in their last match. Getting past them will be extremely difficult if they are not complacent and are able to play to their full capacity.

Wellington Firebirds

The Wellington Firebirds may not have gotten off to the best possible start in the 2021 Super Smash, but they are now back in contention. The defending champions had been one of the most consistent teams in New Zealand’s domestic competition, so it was shocking to see them languish towards the bottom of the standings for so long.

Wellington Firebirds are currently in third place on the points table, with four victories in seven games for a total of 16 points, and a win today will not improve their standing. However, it will undoubtedly widen the gap between them and the fourth-placed Auckland Aces, who are now in fourth position. The Firebirds would also like to improve their current -0.039 net run rate.

The Wellington Firebirds last played in the competition over a week ago, winning by two wickets in a high-scoring match against Central Stags. They were chasing a total of 227 and appeared to be out of the game after a poor start, but courtesy to a superb knock by Michael Bracewell, they won the match with one ball to spare. Bracewell smashed an unbroken 65-ball 141-run innings to lead his team to victory.

On paper, the Wellington Firebirds have an excellent team that has depth in the batting department without sacrificing bowling variation. Jamie Gibson and Logan van Beek, for example, are both capable batsmen who bat at number seven and eight, respectively. They haven’t been consistent in their execution up to this point, and if they can get that right, they’ll be in business.

Toss Prediction

Although the team batting first won the previous match here, the result had little to do with the toss. In fact, as the match progresses, the playing surface is projected to improve. Aside from that, understanding what to chase in batting-friendly conditions is always a plus. Given this, the captain who wins the toss is likely to choose to bat first.

This is a brand-new venue with no previous history. Having said that, we’ve already seen a match take place here, and given that this will be the second match of the day on the surface, there shouldn’t be much ambiguity. Batsmen will get more bang for their buck thanks to the short boundaries and speedy outfield. Furthermore, the surface is anticipated to remain true throughout, making batting easier. The team batting first needs to score at least 170 runs in this game.



    • Finn Allen
    • M Bracwell (VC)
    • Jeet Raval
    • Joe Carter
    • Scott Kuggeleijn
    • Colin de Grandhomme (C)
    • James Neesham
    • Logan van Beek
    • Anurag Verma
    • B Sears
    • J Walker

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