However, they have not been able to win a single match since then. Auckland Aces are in no better position as they have been able to win just one of their three completed matches till now.
Auckland Aces will receive a major boost by the return of internationals Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, and Lockie Ferguson. Munro and Guptill were in sensational form in the ODI series against Sri Lanka and the Auckland Aces can replicate the opening combination of the Kiwis.
Runs have been hard to come by for the Aces in the absence of big names. Guptill smashed a 51-ball 71 before joining the national team. Glenn Phillips and Colin Munro also have a few runs to show. Lockie Ferguson will lead the bowling attack and would be assisted by Matthew Quinn and William Somerville.
It will be interesting to see the playing XI with which Otago Volts choose to go. Ben Raine returned in the last match which meant that Christi Viljoen had to sit out as Ben Cox is already occupying one of the overseas slots. Viljoen has been excellent but the explosive prowess of Raine has pushed him in front of the bowler.
Anaru Kitchen has been good for the team and has 127 runs from four innings. Matthew Bacon and Jacob Duffy would be their leading bowlers.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XIs of both teams.
Otago Volts- Hamish Rutherford, Shawn Hicks, Anaru Kitchen, Nathan Smith, Ben Raine, Josh Finnie, Ben Cox, Matthew Bacon, Brad Wilson, Jacob Duffy, Jack Hunter
Auckland Aces- Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Craig Cachopa, Robert O Donnell, Ronnie Hira, Lockie Ferguson, Benjamin Lister, Matthew Quinn, William Somerville
Who will win? – Auckland Aces
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Martin Guptill (Auckland Aces), Anaru Kitchen (Otago Volts)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Lockie Ferguson (Auckland Aces), Jacob Duffy (Otago Volts)
Most Sixes – Martin Guptill (Auckland Aces), Anaru Kitchen (Otago Volts)
Team Scores Batting First – Auckland Aces 155+, Otago Volts 140+
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2019