The Burger King Super Smash story so far - and what's next

With four games in three days in the Lincoln T20 festival, the Burger King Super Smash started with a bang, and has given fans some fine performances already.

The Magicians lead the pack after five rounds before the competition takes a break until 22 December - so what did we learn in the early-season hit-outs? 

It's going to be tight 

Five matches played, and there's a log jam at the top already - the Hearts, Blaze and Magicians are all tied on 14 points with the Cantabs first through net run rate only. The Sparks are breathing down the necks of the top teams, and the Spirit and Hinds showed they're more than capable of putting a run together and getting back in the mix.  

There were plenty of team and individual performances to catch the eye 

The Magicians bounced back from their first up loss to the Hearts to grab three wins on the bounce and go top - for now. The defending champion Blaze showed they'll be right in the mix for the title with an aggressive approach with the bat and ball, with spinners Deanna Doughty and Amelia Kerr set to test every team they face. The Hearts and Sparks both played some tremendous innings, with the experienced Sara McGlashan going hard on the attack against the Hinds with 62* from 39 balls.

For the Spirit, Eimear Richardson got off to a flyer with the bat and ball, helping her side upset the Blaze in the first match, while Hinds stars Hannah Rowe and Jess Watkin showed they'll be a handful when we come back in December. 

Our WHITE FERNS are in fine early season form

The squad leaves for the ICC Women's World T20 this week, and there was plenty to suggest the hard work over winter has paid off. 

Skipper Amy Satterthwaite notched up 68* in her last match v the Spirit, playing her way into assured touch by the end of the tournament, while the Sparks' Leah Kasperek started with back to back half centuries. Sophie Devine lead from the front for the Blaze, playing the pinch hitter role to perfection to set the tone for the Blaze's innings, and showed a cool head with the ball at the death. Lea Tauhuhu looked fast and dangerous every time she had the ball, while Amelia Kerr capped a fine set of performances with a hat trick and 46* in a big final match against the Sparks. 

Lincoln is a special place to start the season 

Bert Sutcliffe Oval, named for one of our greatest ever players and New Zealand Cricket's High Performance HQ, was a great base for all six Super Smash teams over the four days. Day one's games were rained off, but it gave the teams a chance to train at the indoor facilities, spend time on the road together and catch up with players from other teams over lunch or dinner. 

On game days, playing three matches at grounds only metres from each other simultaneously gave the event a unique feel, the fans there to enjoy it got a cricketing treat and the players got plenty of time in the middle to iron out any early season kinks in their game. 

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What's next?

The competition hits pause for now as we break for the World T20, Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and Ford Trophy - but mark your calendar for 22 December when the Spirit v Blaze and Knights v Firebirds T20 double header kicks off an exciting couple of months of cricket. 

This year our women's and men's competition are more aligned than ever with 22 double header rounds, seven of which will be televised on SKY Sport. 

The women's Grand Final is scheduled for January 20, and the men's for February 17. It's going to be a ground breaking season - keep your eyes on for the latest.