Otago sides in running at midway

Both Otago sides are still in the running in the Super Smash competition but no team can be counted out.

With most teams having played nearly half their games, the Otago teams have a 50% win record, having picked up two wins from four games.

The Otago Volts side had a first-up win against the Auckland Aces in Alexandra and then beat the Northern Knights at Bay Oval.

The Sparks also won at Bay Oval against the Northern Spirit and then won their last game out, easily defeating the Central Hinds at the University of Otago Oval.

Wellington and Central head the table in the men’s competition with four wins. Wellington is ahead because of a superior net run rate. The Firebirds have played only four games while Central has played six games.

Canterbury has lost just the one game.

Auckland has had a disappointing start to the season and is winless halfway through the competition. Northern has picked up one win but should not be counted out.

The competition is due for a shake-up with some Black Caps likely to come back into teams.

Ross Taylor played for the Central Stags on Sunday night against Canterbury.

Northern will be significantly boosted by returning Black Caps although they are likely to be dripped back into the Knights side.

Otago does not have the luxury of having any Black Caps to call on but is far from out of the money.

In the women’s competition, Auckland went to the top of the table after a win over Canterbury at Hagley Oval on Monday.

It sits two points ahead of Wellington but has played a game more. Auckland and Canterbury shared the points of the only abandoned game of the competition at the start of the year.

Wellington picked up its only loss in a defeat against Northern Spirit.

Central has not won a game in the women’s competition.

Generally, if a side wins half its games it should make the playoffs.

The top side goes straight through to the final and the second and third-placed teams play an elimination final.

In last year’s men’s competition, Wellington qualified top after winning six games while Otago and Auckland were second and third. Otago won five games and Auckland four.

Auckland won through to the final before losing to Wellington.

In the women’s competition, Wellington went through unbeaten and won the final in a rain-shortened game over Auckland. Auckland was second on the table just ahead of Otago, both recording six wins. Otago was docked half a point for a slow over rate.

The Otago Volts have named an unchanged team for tomorrow’s match against Wellington at the University of Otago Oval. Nathan Smith remains out with a abdominal strain.


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