Northern Knights (NK) vs Wellington (WEL), Super Smash 12 Jan, 2019 free betting tips & preview. Get schedule, head to head stats to bet with top sites Betfair, Bet365 & Betway
Defending champions Northern Knights have won four of their first five games in this season's Super Smash.
Wellington Firebirds have won their last two matches, however, to close the gap to the leaders to six points after five games.
These two teams have already met once, in the opening game, when Dean Brownlie smashed 99 from 46 balls for Northern in a total of 215/6 - Anton Devcich's 4-27 then helping them to a 45-run win, after bowling the Firebirds out for 170.
Resurgent Wellington Firebirds host defending champions and table-toppers Northern Knights in the lastest Super Smash fixture at Basin Reserve, Wellington. The match is scheduled for January 12 and the live action begins at 16:00 local time.
WEL vs NK, Super Smash: Where to watch/Live streaming
TV channels: Sky Sport NZ, Star Sports
Live streaming: Sky Go, Hotstar
On both occasions they have won the toss, Wellington have elected to field first whereas Northern Knights have been happy to mix it up.
Read on for team previews, betting tips, latest odds and match prediction for Wellington Firebirds vs Northern Knights, Super Smash.
Wellington Firebirds Team News & Playing 11
WEL Team News
Wellington Firebirds have named an unchanged team for the last two matches, winning both. Jimmy Neesham’s international call-up and subsequent injury means he is unavailable. Adam Hose has joined the Firebirds as an overseas batsman, while Ben Sears made his Super Smash debut against Central Stags, and then claimed 4-16 from his four overs in the win against Canterbury Kings. It seems they will therefore be unchanged again.
WEL Key Players
Michael Bracewell hit 74 and 69 in his last two innings to move to the top of the batting charts with three half-centuries from four innings and 209 runs in total so far. No other batsman has yet passed one half-century in the tournament.
Overseas acquisition Adam Hose has hit one half-century, and 105 runs in total – contributing an unbeaten 54 from 33 balls to the win against Canterbury Kings.
Missing Jimmy Neesham’s all-round contributions, Wellington turned to Ben Sears for the last two matches and he took his first four Super Smash wickets to record figures of 4-16 from four overs last time out. Jeetan Patel and Ollie Newton have five each so far, while Hamish Bennett has taken seven.
WEL Team Form
Wellington Firebirds lost two of their first three matches and the other game was rained off in that spell. Northern Districts scored 215/6 in a 45-run win in the opening game between the two, before the Firebirds collapsed from 107/0 to 125/6 in pursuit of Otago’s 167/7. They lost wickets on the final two balls as they fell to a one-run defeat despite Michael Bracewell’s 60 from 29 balls.
Bracewell’s form has continued, however – he hit 74 from 42 balls in an eight-wicket win against Central Stags and then 69 from 34 balls in a total of 200/5 against Canterbury Kings. Ben Sears then took 4-16 from four overs in just his second game to earn the Firebirds a 65-run win.
Wellington Firebirds Predicted Playing 11
Devon Conway, Michael Bracewell, Adam Hose, Malcolm Nofal, Tom Blundell, Michael Pollard, Logan van Beek, Ollie Newton, Jeetan Patel, Ben Sears, Hamish Bennett
Northern Knights Team News & Playing 11
NK Team News
Tim Seifert and Ish Sodhi remain with the New Zealand squad for their T20 match against Sri Lanka, while Mitchell Santner and Scott Kuggeleijn have also linked up with the squad and are therefore unavailable. Brett Randell could return to the squad, while Dean Brownlie could start after missing the last match.
NK Key Players
Though they are missing several players due to international duty, Northern Knights still boast a strong line-up. Dean Brownlie hit 99 in the first match between these two teams and has 156 runs in total, while Daryl Mitchell has seven runs more from one extra innings – including scoring 78 from 51 balls against Auckland Aces.Last time out, Brett Hampton top-scored with 55 from 41 balls and they have not even seen the best of Anton Devcich yet – the big-hitting opening batsman have arrived at the tournament on the back of some explosive hitting in the T10 League and Afghanistan Premier League.
Devcich has taken seven wickets with the ball, meanwhile, having also been Northern’s leading wicket-taker in the Ford Trophy. Scott Kuggeleijn’s ten wickets have earned him an international call-up, but Neil Wagner and Chris Jordan can now step up to cover his absence.
NK Team Form
Northern Knights have won four of the first five matches of their Super Smash title defence. After Dean Brownlie’s 99 from 46 balls led them to 215/6 and a 45-run win in the opening game (Anton Devcich claiming 4-27 with the ball) against Wellington Firebirds, they lost their second game – Central Stags chasing 157 to win with four balls to spare.
Next up, Northern Knights faced Otago Volts and restricted them to just 99/7 from 20 overs going on to win by five wickets with 2.2 overs to spare. A narrow two-run win against Auckland followed, thanks to Daryl Mitchell’s 78 and Scott Kuggeleijn’s 4-18 from his four overs before a high-scoring defeat of Canterbury Kings last time out. Chasing 194 to win, Brett Hampton hit 55 from 41 balls and Daniel Flynn an important 31 from 13 balls, before Kuggeleijn sealed a two-wicket win with a six, with two balls to spare.
Northern Knights Predicted Playing 11
Anton Devcich, Dean Brownlie, PD Bocock, Daryl Mitchell, Brett Hampton, Corey Anderson, Daniel Flynn, Chris Jordan, Tarun Nethula, Neil Wagner, Brett Randell
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
WEL : W W L NR L L
NK : W W W L W
WEL vs NK Head to Head
Northern Districts have won 14 of their 24 previous matches against Wellington in T20 cricket – including their big victory on the opening night of the current Super Smash season. Dean Brownlie’s 99 and Anton Devcich’s 4-27 led them to a 45-run win after scoring 215/6.
Last season, they each claimed one win apiece. Michael Bracewell hit 56 from 28 balls as Wellington posted 176/5 and won by 32 runs at Hamilton, but Northern Knights won a thriller at Wellington to gain revenge. Replying to Northern’s 145/6, Devon Conway hit 53 from 36 balls but the Firebirds finished just one run short – Luke Woodcock having been run-out off the final ball.
Wellington Firebirds vs Northern Knights Betting Odds
Betfair have priced Northern Knights at 1.80 to beat Wellington Firebirds, while the Firebirds are 2.00 to win.
Michael Bracewell’s batting has played Wellington back into form, and he is 3.60 to be their top batsman, and 5.50 to post the highest score in the match. In the reverse fixture, that feat was achieved by Dean Brownlie’s 99, and he is 6.00 with Betfair to top score. Anton Devcich should never be discounted at the top of the order either, and he too is 6.00 to be top scorer in the match.
Wellington Firebirds vs Northern Knights Prediction
Northern Knights have started their Super Smash defence in superb form and have cover to make up for the loss of more international stars. Wellington have improved of late, but Northern are favourites for a reason.
Final Verdict: Back Northern Knights to beat Wellington Firebirds at 1.80 with Betfair.