With the race for a top-three finish on among Otago, Wellington and Central Districts, the former takes on table-dwellers, Canterbury Kings at the Hagley Oval. Otago need to win their last two games to keep their slim hopes alive while Canterbury are out of the reckoning and only have to pride to play for in the tournament. None of the Canterbury batsmen have got going in Super Smash 2018-19, which has seen them stuck at the bottom of the table whereas the likes of Anaru Kitchen and Neil Broom have ensured Otago's ambitious-yet-slim hopes of making the top three to be alive.
With both teams having little to nothing left to lose, one can expect a very good game of cricket considering the competitive nature of the pitch in Christchurch.
Squads to choose from
Neil Broom, Hamish Rutherford, Ben Cox(WK), Anaru Kitchen, Shawn Hicks, Josh Finnie, Brad Wilson, Jacob Duffy(C), Christi Viljoen, Nathan Smith, Josh Tasman-Jones and Michael Rippon.
Andrew Ellis, Tom Macrury, Chad Bowes, Cole McConchie (C), Steve Murdoch, Cam Fletcher (WK), Kyle Jamieson, Will Williams, Ed Nuttall, Jeremy Benton, Joe Carter and Henry Shipley.
Playing XI Updates
After a disappointing-yet-close loss to the Firebirds, not many changes are expected from Otago, who need to put a better show with the ball on Saturday. Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford are in good touch with the likes of Ben Cox and Anaru Kitchen chipping in as well. Jacob Duffy has led the side well with ten wickets to his name. If Otago are to overcome this tricky match, his spell with the new ball is going to be very crucial.
Possible XI: Broom, Rutherford, Cox(WK), Kitchen, Hicks, Finnie, Wilson, Viljoen, Rippon, Smith and Duffy (C).
Inspite of their premier bowler, Kyle Jamieson picking up 15 wickets - the highest in the Super Smash 2018-19- Canterbury have failed miserably to see them dwell at the bottom of the table. Much is expected from the likes of McConchie and Bowes who haven't performed as they would have liked to. Carter could play instead of Macrury, who had a forgetful debut against Auckland.
Possible XI: Ellis, Bowes, Murdoch, McConchie (C), Fletcher(WK), Macrury/Carter, Shipley, Jamieson, Williams, Nuttall and Benton.
Fantasy Tips and Suggestions
Wicket-keeper: Ben Cox is the ideal pick for this slot with the Otago keeper impressing in patches for his side and with his big hitting abilities, he should be one for the taking.
Batsmen: Returning to the side after a brief stint on the sidelines, Neil Broom hit a fantastic 65 against Wellington, albeit in a losing cause. Broom along with Chad Bowes and Murdoch are handy picks to have in the side. Hamish Rutherford has also been good at the top of the order with 169 runs to his name and could be a useful selection as well.
All-rounders: Anaru Kitchen has the looked part in all of Otago's matches but has critically underperformed for them. With this being a crucial match for the Volts, a big performance from Kitchen is expected. Along with him, two out of the three Canterbury all-rounders, McConchie, Ellis and Jamieson would suffice.
Bowlers: Jacob Duffy is a must have in the fantasy team with Christi Viljoen also in good form for them. Either of Shipley or Ed Nuttall would also prove to be a valuable addition to the fantasy team.
Captain: Chad Bowes and Anaru Kitchen are the front-runners for the mantle of captaincy. Much is expected from both players on Saturday while Neil Broom could also be an option if you feel the need for the experienced batsmen.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Ben Cox(WK), Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom, Chad Bowes, Stephen Murdoch, Anaru Kitchen, Cole McConchie, Kyle Jamieson, Jacob Duffy, Christi Viljoen and Henry Shipley. Captain: Anaru Kitchen
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Ben Cox (WK), Neil Broom, Josh Finnie, Chad Bowes, Stephen Murdoch, Anaru Kitchen, Kyle Jamieson, Andrew Ellis, Jacob Duffy, Christi Viljoen and Ed Nuttall. Captain: Chad Bowes