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