Otago Daily Times

All but unchanged Stags squad favourite against Kings

- ADRIAN SECONI

CENTRAL Districts won the dress rehearsal against Canterbury in Napier on Friday.

But today’s return match at Eden Park Outer Oval is for a spot alongside Wellington in Saturday’s Super Smash final.

The Stags posted a 30run win against the Kings and have added experience­d allrounder Kieran NoemaBarne­tt in an otherwise unchanged squad for the eliminatio­n final.

They also edged Canterbury by 18 runs in Christchur­ch last month, so will go into the game as the favourite.

Black Cap Blair Tickner is the league’s top wickettake­r this season with 15 wickets from 10 games at an average of 20.73, while 20yearold Joey Field has enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign with nine wickets and 11 catches.

Lefthanded opening batsman George Worker is the competitio­n’s secondlead­ing scorer with 420 runs, while teammates Doug Bracewell, Ross Taylor and Josh Clarkson have all been operating at strike rates of 160plus.

Canterbury is without Black Caps Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls, who are unavailabl­e due to injury. But the Kings can lean on internatio­nals Matt Henry and Daryl Mitchell to make an impact, and Chad Bowes and Cole McConchie have made significan­t contributi­ons with the bat.

Auckland will host Wellington in the women’s eliminatio­n final and battle for the right to join Canterbury in the final.

Auckland held on to beat Wellington by seven runs in a roundrobin game at Eden Park Outer Oval on Saturday.

It got rid of White Ferns batting supremo Sophie Devine cheaply in that match and will be hoping to repeat the dose today.

She has scored 354 runs at an average of 70.80, so is a key wicket, while Katey Perkins is the leading scorer for Auckland, with 244 at an average of 30.50.

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