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KINGS deny Volts home Grand Final

KINGS deny Volts home Grand Final
KINGS v Volts scorecard

A scintillating knock by Canterbury KINGS batsman Chad Bowes has denied the Otago Volts top spot on the ladder and hosting rights for the Dream11 Super Smash Grand Final.

Bowes hit 95 from 50 balls to lead the KINGS to a six-wicket win chasing the Volts’ 167-5 at Hagley Oval.

In the final round-robin fixture of the season, the KINGS were playing for pride and to jump off the bottom of the ladder. The Volts, on the other hand, would have secured a home final in Dunedin with a win.

Instead of advancing straight to the Grand Final the Volts will host the Auckland ACES in Friday's Elimination Final at the University of Otago Oval.

The Wellington Firebirds have secured top spot and with the Wellington Blaze also top in the women’s competition, there will be a Grand Final double-header at the Basin Reserve on Sunday.

While Bowes’ Twenty20 career-best was the cornerstone of the KINGS win, he had good support at the other end from Henry Nicholls (39 off 28). The pair combined for an 84-run second-wicket partnership off just 50 balls.

Jacob Duffy removed Bowes and Cole McConchie in successive balls in the 17th over but the damage was already done. The KINGS only needed 21 to win from 20 balls at that point and Leo Carter and Cam Fletcher saw the hosts home with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, having won the toss and electing to bat, the Volts got off to an excellent start. After the early departure of Hamish Rutherford, Nick Kelly (62 off 43) and Neil Broom (57 off 46) batted superbly, adding 125 for the second wicket. 

But when Kelly and Broom both fell in the space of three balls the brakes came on the innings and just 34 runs came off the final 30 balls.

Spinners Todd Astle (1-22) and McConchie (1-26) were instrumental in the fightback with the ball. Will Williams again proved hard to get away in the death overs, taking 1-15 off his three.

The win lifts the KINGS into fifth in the standings. The Central Stags, KINGS, and the Knights all finished on 18 points, with final placings decided on net run rate.

Sparks win fifth straight
MAGICIANS v Sparks scorecard

The Otago Sparks have continued their winning roll with a 31-run victory over the Canterbury MAGICIANS at Hagley Oval.

Having already secured third spot and booked an Elimination Final against the Auckland HEARTS on Thursday, the Sparks continued their recent momentum by notching their fifth straight win.

The Sparks comfortably defended their total of 122-7 in a low-scoring clash. They bowled out the MAGICIANS for 91 in the final over with the help of three run outs.

The victor of the Elimination Final at Eden Park's Outer Oval advances to face the unbeaten Wellington Blaze who are seeking a Twenty20 three-peat. With the Wellington Firebirds also securing hosting rights to the season showpiece, Grand Final day will be staged as a double-header at the Basin Reserve on Sunday.

Having won the toss and electing to bat, the Sparks were in early trouble losing both openers in the first two overs. A 57-run third-wicket partnership between Katey Martin (34 off 25) and Hannah Darlington (30 off 30) got them back on track. 

Eden Carson and Emma Black then combined for an important unbroken 21-run stand in the closing overs to boost the Sparks to a defendable total.

Frankie Mackay was the pick of the bowlers for the MAGICIANS, taking 2-12 off her four overs.

With a modest total to defend, all of the Sparks bowlers pitched in with economical figures as the hosts struggled to get any momentum in their chase.

Darlington continued her strong form with the ball, taking 3-12 off her four overs.

DREAM11 SUPER SMASH FINALS:

Thursday, January 16
Women's Elimination Final
Auckland HEARTS v Otago Sparks, Eden Park Outer Oval
4:10pm, LIVE on SKY Sport, LIVE on Radio Sport

Friday, January 17
Men's Elimination Final
Otago Volts v Auckland ACES, University of Otago Oval
4:10pm, LIVE on SKY Sport, LIVE on Radio Sport

Sunday, January 19
Women's Grand Final
Wellington Blaze v TBC, Basin Reserve
12:40pm, LIVE on SKY Sport, LIVE on Radio Sport
DOUBLEHEADER
Men's Grand Final
Wellington Firebirds v TBC, Basin Reserve
4:10pm, LIVE on SKY Sport, LIVE on Radio Sport