NZ Super Smash


New Plymouth set to host 20th match of the Super Smash season between Central Stags and Auckland Aces. The home team for this game Stags sits at second bottom of the points table with 8 points while the visitors inch close to the top spot in the table. This will be a crucial game for both the teams to steady their standings in the ladder. Match 20 between Central Stags vs Auckland Aces schedule to start at 4:10 PM Local | 8:40 AM IST on Thursday, 4th January 2018.



With two wins and 3 losses in the first 5 matches of the league stage, Central Stags are currently at 5th spot in the points table with 8 points. Inconsistency is the major flaw for Stags instability in this year competition. They have lost 1st, 3rd and 5th matches respectively while won 2nd and 4th matches with ease. The arrival of batting all-rounder George Worker made an immediate effects in the top order. He is in such a good form and that will be the biggest boost for Stags at this of the tournament. Stags has named the unchanged 12-man squad for this clash against Aces. Ben Smith was the one who made a way for George Worker at top of the order. So, quite possibly he will misses out once again on Thursday. The in-form openers George Worker and Jesse Ryder has a job to do for Stags in this crucial game. Worker made a comeback with a stunning 75 runs knock off just 38 balls and he also picked a wickets in his 3 overs spell. The experienced Jesse Ryder departed for 7 runs in the last game but that was his first failure in the tournament. Before that game, he scored 54, 84 and 32 runs respectively.

Captain Will Young used to bat at no. 3 for Stags and he is also in fine form at the moment. He’s scored 179 runs in 5 matches this season with 2 half-centuries and he also maintains very good strike-rate. The wicket-keeper Dane Cleaver bats at no. 4 for Stags. He has played one good innings in the tournament but yet to score an impressive half-century. Middle-order batsman Josh Clarkson and young Christian Leopard does a very good job for the team in end overs. Clarkson scored 114 runs in 5 matches with the highest score of 52* off just 25 balls against Knights last week. He is the dangerous player and he will finish an innings in style for Stags. Christian Leopard, the 20-years old all-rounder had an impressive start to his T20 career with the scores 20 and 22 runs at end overs of the innings. He yet to bowl in the tournament, but he shines with a bat.

Ben Wheeler who featured in International cricket for New Zealand, is in a poor form this season. The left-arm pace bowler’s is the biggest worrying part for the stags. He has leaked too many runs in first 4 games. But bowled somehow better in the last game, hopefully Wheeler will come with a match-winning spell in this game. The fast bowler Blair Tickner is the leading wicket-taker of the side in this season. He claimed a tally of 10 wickets in first 4 games then remained a wicket-less in the last game. He is expected to pick 2 or more wickets in this clash on Thursday. The left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel came good in the last two games and picked 2 wickets each. He may bowl well and take 2 wickets for a third match in a row. The expensive Ryan McCone has conceded 39 runs in just 2 overs in the last game. But, Stags set to continue with him in this game. In case, Stags decides to add batting power to the team then Ben Smith will come in XI for McCone. But possibilities are too less for it. Bevan Small is the other bowler in the side and he offers good spells in last two games.



After played 6 matches, Auckland Aces sits at second place in the points table with 4 wins, 1 loss and 1 no-result. They have 18 points with a good NRR +0.423. Aces has a hat-trick of wins at the moment, if they beat Stags on Thursday, then will reach the first place in the table. After the exit of openers Martin Guptill and Glenn Phillips (national committments), Aces has done a shuffle in their top-order batting with Ben Horne and Sean Solia. Wicket-keeper batsman Ben Horne’s poor continued in recent matches as well. He scored only 12 runs in 2 matches as an opener in the season. If suppose the captain Craig Cachopa decides to take over the gloves work from Horne, then Jeet Raval may replaces him in the XI. Sean Solia who had an impressive tournament last year, started off with 34 runs off 24 balls few days ago. He dismissed for just 4 runs in the last game, but he will come back stronger in this game. He also bowls useful part-time spells and picked a wicket each last two games.

Mark Chapman turned on as a star performer of Aces in recent matches. First he played a firing knock of 64 runs against Wellington a day-before Christmas. Then, he smashed a maiden century in the last game where he took only 58 balls to score 101 runs with 3 fours and 6 big sixes. Chapman is in form of his career and he will play another key role for Aces in this game. Skipper Craig Cachopa has found a form back and played a good knocks in last two games. He scored a match-winning 52 off 36 against Otago Volts and also scored a run-a-ball 27 in the last game against Canterbury. The middle-order batsman Robbie O’Donnell will play a crucial role in second half of the batting innings. He’s scored 30+ runs thrice in 5 matches which includes a half-century against Stags in the first meet-up. He may come with one more half-century against Stags on Thursday.

England all-rounder Sam Curran had struggled to bowl well for Aces, but he found a way to perform well in recent matches. He has taken a wicket each in all 5 matches but bowled an economical spell only in the last game. He shined with a bat when he took team home with an outstanding half-century against Firebirds on Christmas eve. The power-hitter Ronnie Hira didn’t get a batting chances till now. He bowled an economical spell in last two games, hopefully, he will shine with a bat too. After played 12th man role for many matches, Michael Barry finally got a chance in playing XI in last two games. He might lose his place to all-rounder Donovan Grobbelaar who has been added to the squad for the first time in the season. Grobbelaar is well-experienced player in the format and he will add more strength to the team with both bat and bowl. Leg-spinner Tarun Nethula has picked 10 wickets in 5 matches and best figure was 3/27. He is expected to have a good game once again on Thursday. Ben Lister bowls well for Aces and the 22-years old has claimed a tally of 8 wickets which includes 2 three-wicket hauls. The off-spinner Teja Nidamanuru plays a good role and he used to bowl decent spell in every match.




  • Jesse Ryder
  • George Worker
  • Will Young
  • Josh Clarkson
  • Ajaz Patel
  • Blair Tickner
  • Bevan Small



  • Sean Solia
  • Mark Chapman
  • Craig Cachopa
  • Robbie O’Donnell
  • Donovan Grobbelaar
  • Sam Curran
  • Ben Lister
  • Tarun Nethula




1. George Worker, 2. Jesse Ryder, 3. Will Young, 4. Dane Cleaver, 5. Josh Clarkson, 6. Christian Leopard, 7. Ben Wheeler, 8. Bevan Small, 9. Ajaz Patel, 10. Ryan McCone, 11. Blair Tickner.


1. Ben Horne / Jeet Raval, 2. Sean Solia, 3. Mark Chapman, 4. Craig Cachopa, 5. Robbie O’Donnell, 6. Michael Barry / Donovan Grobbelaar, 7. Sam Curran, 8. Ronnie Hira, 9. Ben Lister, 10. Tarun Nethula, 11. Teja Nidamanuru.




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