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A tough challenge for Wellington's rusty bowling attack
Northern Knights to win
Tournament: Plunket Shield 2022-23 | Format: 4-DAY TEST | Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand | Toss: To BowlBet Now
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We are in the 21st game of the Plunket Shield 2022-23, and we will have the Northern Knights taking on Wellington at their home ground. The sides are placed second and third on the points table. Northern Knights defeated Central Districts in the last game, while Wellington had to settle for a draw against Auckland.
Northern Knights' batsmen looked in excellent form in the last game, with three players scoring hundreds. It will add to the team's confidence as they play at home. Wellington has enjoyed a good record against Northern Knights in the past, and it remains to be seen if they can dominate the hosts.
Jeet Raval's side has done well at the backend of the season. They defeated the Central Districts in the last game by 35 runs to move up to the second spot on the points table. The side will be confident playing at their home ground. Raval would like to see a strong performance from his players as they take on a tough opponent.
Jeet Raval scored a hundred in the last game, and he will look to set up a big opening wicket stand with Henry Cooper. Bharat Popli, Tim Seifert, and Mitchell Santner add strength to the middle order, and all of them are in good form. The side will like to see runs from Katene Clarke, Colin de Grandhomme, and Katene Clarke in the lower middle order.
Kristian Clarke and Colin de Grandhomme must use the new ball well in this game, and the side will expect a good show from them. Santner brings in a lot of experience to this bowling attack and needs to guide the young bowlers. Tim Pringle, Joe Walker, and Brett Hampton must deliver a strong show in the supporting role.
Jeet Raval (c), Henry Cooper, Bharat Popli, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Katene Clarke, Colin de Grandhomme, Brett Hampton, Kristian Clarke, Tim Pringle, Joe Walker
Nick Kelly's side was lucky to escape with a draw in the last game against Auckland. It was a poor showing by their bowlers in the game, where they failed to put pressure on the opponents. The bowling attack has looked rusty, and Kelly will like to see better efforts from them in this game.
Luke Georgeson and Rachin Ravindra have an important role at the top, and they must set up a big opening wicket stand. Kelly shall have to anchor the innings in the middle order with Gareth Severin, Muhammad Abbas, and Nathan Smith. They will also expect runs down the order from Callum McLachlan and Logan van Beek.
The bowling attack needs to come out of the poor efforts in the last game. Logan van Beek and Ian McPeake must strike early in the game. Michael Snedden and Abbas must bowl good spells in the middle overs. The team also needs a good show from Luke Georgeson, Ravindra, and Kieran McComb.
Nick Kelly (c), Luke Georgeson, Rachin Ravindra, Gareth Severin, Muhammad Abbas, Nathan Smith, Callum McLachlan (wk), Logan van Beek, Ian McPeake, Michael Snedden, Kieran McComb
The weather conditions would be slightly overcast at Hamilton on the opening day. There would be slight grass cover on the surface, which will help the fast bowlers move the ball in the air. The side batting first will be happy to get 350 runs in the first innings.
Seddon Park, Hamilton, is a typical New Zealand venue with assistance on the track for the fast bowlers. The surface's true nature allows the batters to commit to the front foot and play their strokes. It is one of the larger venues in New Zealand, and batters have lots of opportunities to score twos and threes.
It was a challenging wicket to bat on in the last game. Fast bowlers moved the ball in the early overs and created doubts in the batsmen's minds. We expect the same in this game and the side winning the toss will likely opt for bowling first.
Wellington hasn't been consistent, and their bowling attack has looked in poor shape since the start of this season. The side will expect a better show from their bowlers in this game. The Northern Knights have depth in their batting, and their batsmen are in good form. It will make them favorites in this game.
Northern Knights to win
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