It’s down to the last three and two of those teams are ready to rumble at Eden Park Outer Oval in tomorrow’s sudden death Elimination Final!
Coming off three solid wins in a row, the Central Stags have named a squad of 13 for the big match, adding one player in Ryan McCone who has been called in to reinforce the bowling options available. The remaining players were all in the squad that beat the Wellington Firebirds back to back and the 12 will be finalised at toss time tomorrow.
Hosts the Auckland Aces have meanwhile made one change to their squad with Jeet Raval — a former Stag — coming back in while Robbie O'Donnell drops out with a hamstring injury picked up in the field against the Otago Volts.
It's do or die now for both teams, the winner of tomorrow's Elimination Final booking a spot in Saturday’s Burger King Super Smash Grand Final against the Knights in Hamilton.
Aces captain Craig Cachopa says his “boys” are sharp and focused ahead of tomorrow's fixture.
"Our goal was to be in the mix come finals time, we've achieved that and now there's a genuine desire to go all the way and claim the Super Smash title,” he says.
"We know we weren't at our best with the bat against the Volts, but you get that from time to time. It was great to see some fight with the ball at the back end of that game."
Aces Coach Mark O'Donnell says the side have been training well at Eden Park despite a few brief, pesky showers.
"There's no talk of weather and 'what-ifs', we are training as if we are playing a full T20 tomorrow. We are sharp, we are ready, we are hungry for success.”
And, the weather forecast is looking agreeable.
The match is high stakes for both teams with no prizemoney for third place — but a chance to win big if you make it to the Grand Final where the prize pool is a massive $100,000.
The grand champion will take home 80K and the losing Finalist 20K so buckle up as the Aces and Stags get ready to swing their blades for the loot at stake.
If you can’t make it along to Eden Park Outer Oval you can watch the match live on SKY Sport 4.10pm or listen in to the commentary on Radio Sport, but we recommend getting your tickets NOW to see two of the most exciting T20 teams in the land ramp up the excitement, pace and action in this must-win encounter!
Craig Cachopa (c)
Glenn Phillips (w)
Will Young (c)
Dane Cleaver (w)