The Auckland Aces and Hearts are looking to welcome the new year with a win when they face the Canterbury Magicians and Kings at Eden Park Outer Oval tomorrow.
The Aces are also welcoming new signing James Vince from Hampshire. The batsman comes in as Auckland lose Saturday’s star Martin Guptill.
Aces coach Mark O’Donnell says that Vince is coming in at exactly the right time.
“The feeling in the team is very positive after our win against CD, and with Guptill and Munro joining the BLACKCAPS, we’ll be looking to James Vince to add some firepower.”
“He’s been in the nets and is looking good. He’s been in the country a few days and has settled in to the team nicely.”
Mitchell McClenaghan returns the squad after injury, as Lockie Ferguson also leaves for BLACKCAPS duty.
“Lockie bowled exceptionally well at Pukekura Park,” says O’Donnell.
“So it’s pleasing that we’ll have Mitch back to fill that role in the pace attack.”
The Hearts are top of the table ahead of the Central Hinds playing the Wellington Blaze today, two points ahead of the third-placed Magicians.
Their bowling performance at Pukekura Park allowed for the team to bat the way they needed to.
Hearts coach Dean Flyger says the win over the Central Hinds showed what the team can do as a group.
“There were a couple of moments where the Hinds could have got on top of us in both innings, but we didn’t lose our heads,” he says.
One aspect of the bowling performance was particularly pleasing.
“We gave away just two wides. If you’re not bowling a whole lot of extra balls to be hit, you can really put the screws on.”
Having had a taste of the double-headers, Flyger says the Hearts are eager to put on a repeat performance at home.
“There was a lot of atmosphere at Pukekura Park as the crowd kept building, so getting that on our side will be fantastic.”
The Auckland Hearts will face the Canterbury Magicians in the Burger King Super Smash at Eden Park Outer Oval tomorrow from 12:45pm.
The Auckland Aces will play the Kings immediately afterwards at 4:00pm.
Both games will be broadcast live on Sky Sport.
Tickets are available from Ticketek or at the ticket office by Gate J at Eden Park.
Hearts batsman Katie Perkins is collecting non-perishable food items to stock her Pātaka Kai (community pantry) in Manurewa over the holiday period. All donations will be gratefully accepted at the gate.
Auckland Hearts squad to play the Canterbury Magicians
Maddy Green (C)
Tariel Lamb (WK)
Auckland Aces squad to play the Kings
Craig Cachopa (C)
Glenn Phillips (WK)
Image credit: Photosport.co.nz