SSL 2018-19 Auckland Aces vs Northern Knights 27th Match Prediction. Auckland Aces host Super Smash league leaders (and defending champions) Northern Knights at Eden Park. The match is scheduled for February 2 and the live action begins at 16:00 local time.
- Defending champions Northern Knights sit top of the pile with seven wins from eight games in this year’s Super Smash.
- Auckland Aces are third, with four wins and two no results, though they have won their last three games in a row to climb up the table.
- When they met earlier in the season, Northern Knights defended 155/9 to win by just two runs – their fourth consecutive victory against the Aces.
Our Pick: Northern Knights
ABOUT THE MATCH
The wait for the final four to be finalized in the ongoing Burger King Super Smash is likely to be dragged into the final week of the round-robin stage courtesy of tight competition for the third and fourth positions. There are six games yet to be played before the knockouts and not many in those are going to be dead-rubbers. Auckland Aces and Northern Knights are set to meet at Auckland on 2nd February. Even though the battle between them is not going to impact the qualification scenarios of the tournament in any way, both the sides will want to register a win and take the confidence into the knockouts. The top of the table clashes are usually thrilling contests and we do not expect this one to be any lesser.
AUK vs NK, Super Smash: Where to watch/Live streaming
TV channels: Sky Sport NZ, Star Sports
Live streaming: Sky Go, Hotstar
Neither side has had much luck with the toss in recent matches – particularly the Aces. Northern have tended to bat first in recent games though, including their win in the reverse fixture in Hamilton.
Auckland Aces Team News & Playing 11
AUK Team News
Colin Munro is set to return after being dropped by New Zealand for the final two ODIs against India. The big-hitting opener is the only new addition to the squad, with Lockie Ferguson and Martin Guptill still away on international duty. Graeme Beghin looks the most likely to drop out to accommodate Munro’s return.
AUK Key Players
Though out of form with the bat in recent innings, there is no question of Colin Munro’s capability at the top of the order. He boasts a strike rate above 160 in T20 internationals and has hit four centuries and 28 half-centuries in the format.
He slots into a top order in good form, with Englishman Daniel Bell-Drummond having arrived to score 30 and an unbeaten 51 in his two matches so far.
Glenn Phillips also hit a half-century in the win against Canterbury last time out, while Craig Cachopa’s 73 earned victory against Otago Volts in the previous game. He also hit 39 when these two teams last met.
With the ball, Mitchell McClenaghan claimed three wickets when these teams last met and the experienced paceman has 12 wickets from five innings so far in this year’s Super Smash. Matthew Quinn’s 4-20 last time out earned victory against Canterbury Kings, meanwhile, and he now has nine wickets from six innings.
AUK Team Form
Auckland Aces have won their last three games in a row to put themselves firmly in the play-off picture. Since rain ruined their match against Otago Volts – having been 117/1 with Martin Guptill in fine form at the time – the Aces have climbed the table.
Next up, Colin Munro took 4-15 from four overs as Wellington Firebirds were bowled out for 122, and Mark Chapman’s unbeaten 47 led the Aces to a six-wicket win. Next, Craig Cachopa posted 73 from 38 balls and both Mitchell McClenaghan and Matt Quinn took 2-33 in a four-run win.
Last time out, against Canterbury Kings, Quinn claimed 4-20 to restrict the Kings to 122/8, and Glenn Phillips and Daniel Bell-Drummond both hit half-centuries as the Aces lost just one wicket on their way to victory, achieved with 2.5 overs to spare.
Auckland Aces Predicted Playing 11
- Daniel Bell-Drummond, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Craig Cachopa, Robert O’Donnell, Ronnie Hira, Donavon Grobbelaar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Matthew Quinn, William Somerville
Northern Knights Team News & Playing 11
NK Team News
Ish Sodhi is back in the Northern Knights’ squad having been dropped from the New Zealand squad for the final two ODIs against India, but Mitchell Santner is still away. Tarun Nethula is unlikely to be dropped after his six-wicket haul last time out, however, so it will either be a seamer or a batsman making way if Sodhi returns and on recent form. With the Knights on top form, he may have to miss out. Peter Bocock is the other player in the 13-man squad who did not feature last time out.
NK Key Players
Only Nick Kelly failed to make a score as the Northern Knights thrashed Central Districts last time out, though he had scored 45 and 56 in his previous two innings to already prove his worth.
Brett Hampton was top-scorer last time out, with 64 from 31 balls, and Daryl Mitchell – who hit 78 when these teams last met – scored 61 from 23 balls. Both men hit six sixes and shared a 98-run fourth-wicket partnership.
Mitchell now has 281 runs for the tournament, while Hampton has 184 and captain Dean Brownlie has scored 196 – despite playing two matches less. Tim Siefert has been in good form since arriving from New Zealand duty too – he has 146 runs in five innings.
With the ball, Kyle Abbott has been economical since his arrival – going for just 6.10 runs per over so far – while Mitchell’s all-round ability has seen him claim five wickets and concede just seven runs per over.Scott Kuggeleijn is their leading wicket taker, with 12 from seven games – including his 4-18 when these teams last met. Last time out, it was Tarun Nethula who took the bowling headlines, however, taking 6-23 with his leg spin to record his career-best T20 bowling figures.
NK Team Form
Northern Knights have only lost one game so far, out of eight, and that was back in their second match against Central Stags.
They have impressed with bat and ball since then. They restricted Otago Volts to 99/7 to win the next match by five wickets, before defending 155/9 when these two teams last met – Scott Kuggeleijn taking 4-18 as Auckland came up just two runs short.
Against Canterbury Kings, Brett Hampton scored a half-century as the Knights reached 197/8 with two balls to spare to win by two wickets, before Daryl Mitchell’s 49 and 2-19 helped them to a 12-run win, defending 157/7, against Wellington Firebirds.
Nick Kelly scored 56 from 35 balls in a rain-affected six-run win against the Kings when they next met, before Northern thrashed Central Stags last time out. Brett Hampton and Daryl Mitchell both scored 60s in a total of 230/5, before Tarun Nethula claimed 6-23 from 19 balls as the Stags were all out for 99 in 14.1 overs in reply.
Northern Knights Predicted Playing 11
- Tim Siefert, Nick Kelly, Dean Brownlie, Brett Hampton, Daryl Mitchell, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daniel Flynn, Kyle Abbott, Neil Wagner, Ish Sodhi, Tarun Nethula
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
AUK : W W W NR L
NK : W W W W W
AUK vs NK Head to Head
Northern Districts have won their last four matches against Auckland Aces and now have 11 wins in this fixture to the Aces’ 12. Last season’s matches saw the two teams both pass 200 in both fixtures, but this year was a tense lower-scoring affair.
Daryl Mitchell’s 78 from 51 balls helped Northern Districts post 155/9 batting first; Mitch McClenaghan and Donovan Grobbelaar having taken three wickets apiece. In reply, Scott Kuggeleijn claimed 4-18 from his four overs and the Aces were 115/9 after 16.5 overs but William Somerville’s unbeaten 37 from 16 balls meant they finished up just two runs short, on 153/9, after he hit Mitchell’s final three balls for 16 runs.
Auckland Aces vs Northern Knights Betting Odds
Given their superb form this season, it is no surprise to see Northern Knights are 1.66 to win with Bet365 and 1.67 with Betfair. Auckland are 2.20 to win with both.
The Aces’ top-order batsmen all look in great form, however, and they welcome Colin Munro back too for this game. They are worth backing at 2.00 to score highest in the first six overs with Bet365, therefore.
Munro is 3.70 to be Auckland’s top batsman, while in-form Daniel Bell-Drummond could be worth backing at 4.00 after impressing in his first two appearances this season.
The Knights, meanwhile, have Daryl Mitchell (5.30 to be their top batsman) and Brett Hampton (6.75) in particularly good form. Mitchell top-scored when these teams last met too.
Auckland Aces vs Northern Knights Prediction
Northern Knights have won their last four games against Auckland Aces and have seven from eight in total this season. It is hard to back against them.