SSL 2018-19 Wellington Firebirds vs Central Districts 25th Match Prediction. Central Stags will have one foot in the play-offs if they can get back to winning ways against Wellington Firebirds, the team below them in the Super Smash 2018/19 points table. The match, being played at Wellington’s Basin Reserve, is scheduled for February 1 and the live action begins at 16:00 local time.
- Last season’s runners-up Central Stags are four points clear of Wellington Firebirds and know a win will all-but seal their play-off place.
- Wellington Firebirds were on top form last time out, however, smashing 221/3 in an 11-run win against Otago Volts, as Devon Conway hit an unbeaten century.
- Wellington also won when these teams last met – Michael Bracewell opening the batting with 74 from 42 balls for the Firebirds, as they reached 140/2 to win by eight wickets in just 15.4 overs.
Our Pick: Central Stags
ABOUT THE MATCH
The group stages of the Super Smash T20 are nearing their end as every team gets ready to play its final two matches. The Wellington Firebirds will be taking on the Central Districts Stags in this match. The teams are right next to each other in the Super Smash T20 standings with the Central Stags on third place and the Wellington Firebirds on fourth.
Since the top-3 teams qualify for the Super Smash T20 Playoffs, this match is vitally important for both teams. A loss in this game will mean curtains for the Wellington Firebirds hopes.
The Wellington Firebirds registered an important win in the last match while the Central Districts Stags were crushed by the Northern Knights. The Wellington Firebirds are going to be without Jimmy Neesham in this match who has been called up for New Zealand international duty and that is going to be a big loss.
WEL vs CD, Super Smash: Where to watch/Live streaming
TV channels: Sky Sport NZ, Star Sports
Live streaming: Sky Go, Hotstar
Wellington have generally been happy to set a target and the Firebirds could look to bat first again if they win the toss.
Wellington Firebirds Team News & Playing 11
WEL Team News
Jimmy Neesham has been added to the New Zealand ODI squad currently facing India, meaning Wellington will be forced into at least one change for the game against Central Stags. Logan van Beek and Malcolm Nofal are the two players in the 12-man squad competing for the final spot – Van Beek’s bowling might edge it, but Nofal offers more with the bat. Adam Hose has been forced to return to Warwickshire early due to a knee injury.
WEL Key Players
Devon Conway smashed an unbeaten 105 in Wellington’s win against Otago Volts to move to 313 runs so far this season, from seven Super Smash innings. He and opening partner Michael Bracewell have been key men with the bat.
Bracewell smashed 74 to lead Wellington to victory when these teams last met and he has three half-centuries and 252 runs in total. He also has a strike rate above 180.
Tom Blundell has 143 runs, meanwhile, of which 79 came in the last match, against Otago Volts, from just 44 balls.
Jimmy Neesham will be missed with the ball, but Ollie Newton has taken ten wickets in seven games and experienced campaigner Jeetan Patel has taken nine after taking 2-29 last time out. Teenage spinner Rachin Ravindra was the leading wicket-taker last time out, marking his debut with 3-32.
WEL Team Form
Since beating Central Stags in New Plymouth on New Year’s Eve, Wellington have won two and lost two of their next four matches. Michael Bracewell smashed 69 from 34 balls as they posted 200/5 against Canterbury Kings, before Ben Sears’ 4-16 saw the Kings restricted to 135 all out.
Two defeats followed, however. Ollie Newton took 3-26 from four overs against Northern Knights but, chasing 157/7 to win, Adam Hose’s half-century was not enough as they finished on 145/6. Hose top-scored again as they were bowled out for 122 on the way to a six-wicket defeat to Auckland Aces.
But they got back to winning ways last time out, thanks to Devon Conway’s unbeaten century at Dunedin, against Otago Volts. Conway smashed an unbeaten 105 and Tom Blundell hit 79 as the Firebirds posted 221/3, and they restricted the Volts to 210/8 in reply.
Wellington Firebirds Predicted Playing 11
- Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Tom Blundell, Troy Johnson, Luke Woodcock, Rachin Ravindra, Logan van Beek, Ollie Newton, Jeetan Patel, Ben Sears, Hamish Bennett
Central Districts Team News & Playing 11
CD Team News
Doug Bracewell’s return from international duty – having been replaced by Jimmy Neesham for the final two ODIs of New Zealand’s series with India – means he comes into the Central Stags squad for this game. He is one of three changes, with Bayley Wiggins set for a debut behind the stumps and Seth Rance added to the bowling attack.
Regular wicket-keeper Dane Cleaver has a back injury, while Kieran Noema-Barnett, Ryan McCone and Willem Ludick all miss out after the heavy defeat to Northern Districts last time out.
CD Key Players
Captain Tom Bruce leads Central Stags’ run-scoring charts this season with 291 runs from his seven innings, including two half-centuries. Dean Foxcroft has also weighed in with two half-centuries, while Will Yong has one and 204 runs in total.
George Worker will want to mark his 100th T20 appearance with some runs, meanwhile – he is yet to hit his best form with the bat.
Doug Bracewell’s return is a big boost, meanwhile. He scored a half-century in the second ODI against India, while he scored 44 and took 1-19 in New Zealand’s T20 win against Sri Lanka earlier this month too.
Blair Tickner is the Stags’ leading bowler this season. In seven matches, he has claimed 12 wickets, while Ben Wheeler has eight. Seth Rance has six from five games, and a good economy rate, and his return should also boos the bowling department.
CD Team Form
Central Stags’ three-match winning run was ended by Northern Knights last time out. The Stags were bowled out for just 99 in reply to the Knights’ 230/5 in a heavy defeat that saw them drop back to third in the points table.
They had previously been in excellent form too, with Will Young scoring an unbeaten 89 in the Stags’ 225/3 as they beat Canterbury Kings by 18 runs. Ajaz Patel claimed five wickets in the reply, though they did cost him 53 runs.
Previously, they beat Canterbury Kings in a low-scoring game at Christchurch – the Kings restricted to 112/8 as Blair Tickner claimed 3-15, before the Stags got home to win by six wickets with 19 balls to spare. They also beat Otago Volts after posting 208/7 from their 20 overs, led by Dean Foxcroft’s 56. Ben Wheeler took 4-26 in reply in a 54-run win.
Central Districts Predicted Playing 11
- George Worker, Will Young, Dean Foxcroft, Tom Bruce, Doug Bracewell, Bayley Wiggins, Josh Clarkson, Ben Wheeler, Seth Rance, Ajaz Patel, Blair Tickner
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
WEL : L W W W L
CD : W L L W W
WEL vs CD Head to Head
Wellington’s win last time out was their 13th against Central Districts in T20 cricket, whereas the Stags have won ten. Both of last year’s matches ended in Central Stags winning, but this year the Firebirds hit back.
Hamish Bennett took 3-22 from his four overs as the Stags scored just 136/9, and the Firebirds made light work of that target. Michael Bracewell top-scored with 74 from 42 balls in an eight-wicket win that took just 15.4 overs to complete.
Wellington Firebirds vs Central Districts Betting Odds
With a better head-to-head record, and having won their last game, Wellington Firebirds are 1.62 with Betfair and Betway to win and 1.61 with Bet365. They are without Jimmy Neesham, however, whereas the Stags have Doug Bracewell back. Central can be backed at 2.30 with Bet365, 2.25 with Betfair and 2.20 with Betway.
Tom Bruce has been in good batting form during this tournament for the Stags and he is 5.10 to be their top batsman. Bracewell, on his return, is 4.00 to be their top bowler but Blair Tickner has been in good form and should not be overlooked at 4.40.
Where the Firebirds could win it, however, is with their opening partnership. Devon Conway and Michael Bracewell are both in good form and they are 1.80 with Bet365 to post the highest opening partnership.
Wellington Firebirds vs Central Districts Prediction
Central Stags can get back to winning ways against Wellington Firebirds, with the visitors still looking for their first win of this season’s competition.