Cricket: Super Smash Final Preview

Northern Brave v Canterbury Kings

New Zealand Super Smash Final, January 29 

Seddon Park, Hamilton (5.50am UK)

The Northern Brave are on an eight-match winning run heading into Saturday’s final against a Canterbury side who have just knocked off the back-to-back champions.

Earlier today, the Kings won the Elimination final against a Wellington Firebirds side who had won the last two Super Smash titles, so there is no doubt they will be confident.

However, they face one heck of a task.

A large part of the reason why the Brave are on such a roll is the talent they have available.

Tim Seifert, Jeet Raval, Mitch Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi and Trent Boult. You could almost describe them as New Zealand A! 

On home turf at Seddon Park, you would have to fancy them to win their third match of the season against the Kings and secure silverware at 8/11 with bet365.

Fletcher looks good value on the Player Performance market

bet365 have priced up the player performance of half a dozen players; Santner, Seifert and Southee for the Brave and Cam Fletcher, Cole McConchie and Matt Henry for the Kings.

Now wicketkeeper batter Fletcher has been priced at 5/6 over and under 30.5.

I would have thought over would be the smart play here.

Just a reminder, bet365 offer a point per run, 20 points per wicket, 10 points per catch and 25 per stumping.

Fletcher, the 28-year-old, is the fourth highest run-scorer in the competition with 296, including a best of 63 not out off 25 balls from number six in the Elimination final against the Firebirds as they chased down 191 to win by six wickets.

He has also taken five catches and four stumpings and heads the competition’s dismissals stats.

Wellington Blaze v Otago Sparks starts the day’s final double header

Just a few hours before, at 2am UK time, the women’s sides from Wellington and Otago face off in their own final, with the former the overwhelming favourites at 4/9 with Betfair’s Sportsbook.

If the Otago Sparks are to spring a surprise and dampen the Blaze, then you feel Suzie Bates has to perform once more. She is the highest run-scorer in the men’s or women’s Super Smash with 501, including 75 in the Elimination final win over Auckland.

The New Zealand opener has scored more than double that of her next best team-mate and is 15/8 to be the Otago top run-scorer in their final with Betfair. 

Her international colleague, the superstar that is Sophie Devine, is Wellington’s 2/1 favourite to be their leading run-scorer. 

Devine is bidding for the domestic T20 double having recently won the Australian Big Bash with Perth Scorchers. 

She has only played three games for the Blaze in this competition, posting scores of 20 not out, 36 and five. She is due a big one.

I could even be tempted, if available, by a small Bates/Devine double.