NZ Super Smash

SUPER SMASH – MATCH 3 – NORTHERN KNIGHTS VS WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS – FANTASY PREVIEW

Wellington Firebirds begin the title defense season with their season opener against Northern Knights in this away match. Knights who finished at bottom second last year, starts this new season with the home advantage in Hamilton. Super Smash – Season 2017/18, Match 3 between Northern Knights vs Wellington Firebirds scheduled to kick start at 7:10 PM Local | 11:40 AM IST on Friday, 15th December 2017.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS :

The title winners of 2013/14 season Northern Knights didn’t qualify for finals in last three consecutive seasons. Knights managed to register 4 wins and 5 losses last year which forced them to finish at fifth in the table. The experienced batsman Dean Brownlie is the captain of Northern Knights this year. They have named 12-man squad for this home match. Captain Brownlie used to open the innings for Knights generally and he is expected to open in this game too. He wasn’t in good form at the moment and he scored only single digit scores in three recent Ford Trophy matches. The batting all-rounder Anton Devcich set to play his first T20 match after 1 and half years time. He has played his last T20 game in July 2016. He just had a good come back in Ford Trophy 50-overs games recently where he scored a half-century on last Sunday. He is the dangerous T20 player and he will open the innings for Knights. The young batsman Nick Kelly is expected to bat at crucial no. 3 for Knights. He is in good form and scored 104 runs in 3 innings in Ford Trophy last week. So, he could play some good knock in this game.

Batsmen Daniel Flynn and Daryl Mitchell will strengthen Knights middle-order. Flynn has scored nearly 1500 runs at 124.14 in his T20 career and he makes a return to T20 cricket for the first time in two years. The 26-years old Daryl Mitchell is very useful player in the middle-order. He has scored 810 runs in his 45 T20 innings with the highest score of 88*. He also useful with a part-time bowling and his best figures 4/35. Tim Seifert will take care of wicket-keeper’s duty for Knights. He used to bat in middle-order and scores some quick runs in end overs. He is very useful wicket-keeper choice for Fantasy players. Peter Bocock is the other wicket-keeping batsman in the 12-man squad, but he has played only 3 T20s till now and did not bat in any of those innings. So he probably play a 12th man role in this game. Australia’s Ben Laughlin in with Knights and he will play first two round of matches before move to Adelaide Strikers.

The veteran Brent Arnel in a prime form and he has taken so many wickets in Plunkett Shield and Ford Trophy matches. Especially in Ford Trophy, he claimed 8 wickets in just 3 matches and he could play a good role in this game on Friday. The leg-spinner Ish Sodhi will take care of spin department in this game. Sodhi did a very good job in T20s this year and remember he was so impressive in the T20I series against India where he picked 5 wickets in 3 matches. Brett Hampton and Brett Randell are other two bowlers in the squad. Hampton yet to pick a wicket in T20 cricket and remained wicket-less in all 4 innings he bowled. The 22-years old Randell will make his debut if he get a place in the XI on Friday. He picked 7 wickets in 4 List-A matches and that may help him to get a game in T20 format.

 

WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS :

The defending champions Wellington Firebirds starts their season in Hamilton on Friday. Firebirds has won the title twice in last 3 years and will focus on second consecutive title this year. After finished second in the points table with 5 wins and 5 losses Firebirds defeated Canterbury Kings in the preliminary Final and also defeated Central Stags to clinch the title last season. The experienced veteran batsman Hamish Marshall led the team to glory last year and he will lead Firebirds this year as well. The 38-years old has over 3200 runs in his T20 career at an impressive strike-rate of 137. He had an average outings in a recent Ford Trophy matches but we could expect some impressive show from him on Friday night. Michael Bracewell is expected to accompany Marshall at top of the order. Bracewell nearing 1000 runs in T20 and he needs just 34 more runs to achieve the feat. He maintains a healthy strike-rate of 127 and his highest score 80*. After made a stunning debut in test cricket against West Indies two week ago, wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell is set for T20 action. He smashed a maiden test hundred on his debut innings recently. He probably bat at no. 3 for Firebirds.

The franchise has signed in former England all-rounder Samit Patel this year and he is available for whole season. Samit Patel who led the way to win T20 and One-Day titles for Nottinghamshire few months ago, had a tough season in BPL recently. Finally, he scored a stunning half-century in the last game for Rajshahi Kings. He will play a key role with both bat and bowl for Firebirds. The 34-years old Stephen Murdoch may bat in middle-order on Friday. He has 800 T20 runs to his name with highest score of 92*. The experienced all-rounder Luke Woodcock has played 94 matches in his T20 career so far and he claimed 85 wickets with his left-arm spin and also scored useful runs in lower middle-order. He remained wicket-less in all three recent Ford trophy matches but could find his rhythm at right time in shorter format. Anurag Verma is the other all-rounder in the group. He scores some quick runs in lower order and also shines with the ball too. His best T20 figures are 4 for 27, he may play a key role in this game as well.

New Zealand born Netherlands cricketer Logan van Beek playing for Firebirds. He is well capable of scoring an important runs in the end overs and he used to bowl fast medium. He had some decent outings in a recent Ford Trophy matches and hopes for better performances from him on Friday. Matt Taylor scored a quick-fire 48 off 25 balls and remained unbeaten in last year final. He used to bat at no. 7 or 8 in T20s and score runs at monstrous strike-rate. His overall T20 Strike-rate is just over 140. Possibilities are high for Iain McPeake to warm the bench for this game. He is yet to make his debut in T20 and he may need to wait more for it. Hamish Bennett picked 2 for 34 in last year final and he also bowled decent spells in Ford Trophy last week. The veteran and former Kiwis bowler Jeetan Patel will take care of spin department along with Samit Patel. The off-spinner is very useful lower order batsman too. He is just 13 wickets short to reach a milestone of 200 T20 wickets. His best figures 4 for 11 and highest score was 34 not out. Keep him in fantasy teams and he could come with match winning spell at any moment.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

NORTHERN KNIGHTS :

  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daryl Mitchell
  • Anton Devcich
  • Dean Brownlie
  • Tim Seifert
  • Ish Sodhi
  • Brent Arnel
  • Ben Laughlin

 

WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS :

  • Hamish Marshall
  • Michael Bracewell
  • Tom Blundell
  • Samit Patel
  • Matt Taylor
  • Logan van Beek
  • Luke Woodcock
  • Jeetan Patel

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

NORTHERN KNIGHTS :

1. Dean Brownlie, 2. Anton Devcich, 3. Nick Kelly, 4. Daniel Flynn, 5. Tim Seifert, 6. Daryl Mitchell, 7. Peter Bocock / Brett Hampton, 8. Ben Laughlin, 9. Ish Sodhi, 10. Brent Arnel, 11. Brett Randell.

WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS :

1. Hamish Marshall, 2. Michael Bracewell, 3. Tom Blundell, 4. Samit Patel, 5. Stephen Murdoch, 6. Luke Woodcock, 7. Matt Taylor, 8. Logan van Beek, 9. Anurag Verma, 10. Jeetan Patel, 11. Hamish Bennett / Iain McPeake.

 

 

 

Anand Thiyagarajan

Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.

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