Firebirds’ fate still in their hands

The
Wellington Firebirds know fate is still well in their hands as they prepare to
face the Central Stags in another must-win Super Smash clash at the Basin
Reserve tomorrow.

Wellington
currently sit in fourth place on the Super Smash ladder, four points behind the
Stags who sit in third, and know a win tomorrow will put them in the box seat
for a finals spot given their superior net run-rate.

The
Firebirds face the bottom-placed Canterbury Kings in the final round of the
competition so if they can get past last year’s finalists tomorrow they’ll be
confident of finishing in the top three and even claiming second spot and host
rights to the elimination final if other results go their way.

 “Every match is like a final for us now and
we’re approaching the game tomorrow as if it’s a final,” said Firebirds head
coach Bruce Edgar.

“We’re
focused on tomorrow’s match and getting the win and then we’ll see what we need
to do from there.”

The
Firebirds come in to the game off the back of an 11-run win over the Otago
Volts in Dunedin on Sunday.

Devon
Conway was the highlight smashing the Firebirds highest ever individual Super
Smash score – and unbeaten 105 runs off 60 balls – leading his side to their
highest ever Super Smash total.

Another
positive for Edgar was the performance of wicketkeeper Tom Blundell who hit 79
off just 44 balls alongside Conway.

The
pair built a second-wicket partnership worth 140-runs – the equal highest T20
partnership for the Firebirds for any wicket and the highest T20 partnership
for the second wicket.

19-year-old
Rachin Ravindra also impressed in his Super Smash debut taking crucial wickets
throughout the Volts run chase, finishing with figures of three for 32 off his
four overs.

The
Firebirds came out convincing winners by eight wickets last time the two sides
met at Pukekura Park on New Years Eve and will be out to claim back-to-back
wins over the Stags for the first time since November 2015.

Edgar
has made one forced change to the team that beat Otago – Jimmy Neesham drops
out to join the BLACKCAPS of the final two ODI’s against India.

Play
gets underway from the Basin Reserve at 4.00pm tomorrow. Tickets are $15 for
adults and $5 for children.

Wellington Firebirds | Burger
King Super Smash | Round Nine v Central Stags

Hamish
Bennett (c)

Tom
Blundell (wk)

Michael
Bracewell

Devon Conway

Troy Johnson

Ollie Newton

Malcolm Nofal

Jeetan Patel

Rachin Ravindra

Ben Sears

Logan van Beek

Luke Woodcock

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