Northern Knights to keep similar formula as Georgie Pie Super Smash continues

Daniel Flynn and head coach James Pamment have taken nothing away from Canterbury after the Knights first loss in the Georgie Pie Super Smash on Friday night.

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Fresh off one of his best Twenty20 innings yet, captain Daniel Flynn was pleased with his innings but acknowledged that more runs on the board may have tipped things in the Knights favor against the Kings.

“Last night guys struggled to come in and get underway. It’s obviously something we need to look at.”

From a Blackcaps perspective, Daniel Flynn is focused and hopeful to return to the international stage at some point.

“I want to play for New Zealand again so everytime I go out to bat it’s all about scoring runs and putting your name up into the headlights. While I am here with ND as captain it is about trying to win trophies and perform. Hopefully if I can do that the rewards will come.”

Coach of the Northern Knights James Pamment was disappointed with the result against Canterbury on Friday night.

“When you play against a team like Canterbury you have to be on top of your game and I think last night we just weren’t quite on top of our game.”

But Pamment remains confident in his sides chancing going forward through the Georgie Pie Super Smash.

One of the key issues for the Knights so far in the Georgie Pie Super Smash despite the record of 2-3 is the failings to capitalize on the setting up of platforms for big totals with the bat.

“Lets not take away from the fact that the opposition are bowling really well. In the previous fixtures we haven’t quite had the wickets in hand to mount a charge where as last night against Canterbury we did.”

Pamment believes having another 15 to 20 runs gives a little more comfort to the bowling effort when defending first innings scores.

The Knights have proved capable of defending mid range totals, as was the case in the first two matches of the campaign.

As coach of the Knights, Pamment believes that there is terrific depth in Northern Districts Cricket, and rates Anton Devcich as a big chance to represent the Blackcaps during next years Cricket World Cup.

“I am sure he will make the extended world cup squad of thirty” Pamment said on Devcich.

The Knights will be minus 9 players for the final three fixtures of the Georgie Pie Super Smash as members of the team head to the UAE for New Zealand A and Blackcaps commitments.

Daniel Flynn and James Pamment will continue their Georgie Pie Super Smash campaign today against the Central Stags.

Kings romp home as Knights stumble to first loss

The Canterbury Kings have cruised to a victory as the Knights stumble on a night where nothing went their way.

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Considering the great start to the match, Knights coach James Pamment will be left disappointed with the result, easily the worst performance for the Knights in the Georgie Pie Super Smash campaign thus far.

The Knights were looking likely for a big total right throughout the innings, but just never capitalised on the platform provided by the openers. Daniel Flynn looked aggressive from the outside, and together with opening partner Anton Devcich, the Knights put on an early stand of over 50 runs.

It was a night of milestones for the Daniel Flynn, topping the previous highest score for a Knights player in Twenty20 cricket as well as ticking over 1000 career runs in this form of the game.

Once the breakthrough was made, the Canterbury Kings began to strangle the Knights.

Wickets of big players including Travis Birt and Dean Brownlie fell, both failing to break into double figures. None of the batsmen managed to make any improvements on the solid start, the bulk of the runs coming from Flynn and Devcich’s opening stand.

Andy Ellis was the standout bowler for the Kings, finishing with figures of 4-28 from his spell.

But just as the case last weekend, the Knights just didn’t get the score that looked likely earlier on.

Considering the platform given by Daniel Flynn’s early aggression then counter balancing act throughout the innings, keeping a strike rate of around 130, the final tally of 146 runs was disappointing.

Chasing 147 to win, the Canterbury Kings got off to a decent start in the run chase, achieving the required RPO early on.

Neil Broom and Aiden Blizzard steered the Kings towards the total, batting smartly and choosing the aggressive shots to put away and executing terrifically with a multitude of boundaries, and a couple of big sixes.

One six could have won one lucky patron $5000, but he spilt the ball after a valiant one handed attempt in the crowd.

But it wasn’t only the fans watching on the embankment to make a comedy of errors when the ball was in the air. The Knights dropped two catches while defending their small total, including a sitter by Scott Kuggeleijn off the bowling of Daniel Vettori.

Blizzard continued on, powering past 50 runs scoring at a strike rate of 130, and together with Neil Broom got the Kings into a situation where simple cricket would see their side cruise to an easy victory. Blizzard smashed three sixes in a row to finish the game, ending on 69.

It was a night were not much went right for the Knights. Canterbury cruising to an easy win by 8 wickets at Seddon Park.

Georgie Pie Super Smash crowds extremely disappointing on opening weekend

Even with the number of star local and international players on show, the opening weekend of the Georgie Pies Super Smash at Seddon Park saw an average crowd turnout.

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The Northern Knights games were easily the most attended on opening weekend, but even they were relatively average.

From the sports box at the game, you could literally see the number of patrons in the ground decreasing every moment you looked up prior to the second match of the day commencing.

How the Georgie Pie Super Smash works is two games per day, one beginning at 3.50PM and the over starting straight after at around 7pm.

Both are good times, and twilight/evening cricket has always been a winner up until this point.

So why were the crowd numbers so disappointing at Seddon Park?

The Georgie Pie Super Smash was certainly well advertised, with several spots on radio and television, and good advertising on social media sites Facebook and Twitter. McDonalds have also done their part, giving away free tickets to the cricket with the purchase of a Georgie Pie.

Considering the patrons McDonalds gets on a daily basis, exposure to the Georgie Pie Super Smash event was strong.

In terms of the quality on the field, the opening weekend of this competition saw some of the finest players in the country on show, including many current Blackcaps, but even this didn’t bring many out to the cricket, perfect weather and all.

Jesse Ryder batting twice over the weekend failed to bring in a good crowd, neither did Daniel Vettori bowling on the rare occasion in the Knights uniform.

The incentives have been there, but the people just haven’t come.

Opinion on social media this week has been the problems with the turnout for opening weekend is the timing. Club cricket around Hamilton takes place on a Saturday, and the season is just beginning for that, but this still leaves the poor crowd for Friday night, Saturday evening, and all day Sunday without a real explanation.

Many could have gotten into the ground for free with a purchase of a pie from McDonalds, this is less than the $10 gate entry fee on game day, and Friday’s North/South game was also free entry.

The concept of the Georgie Pie is a good one, the cost to attend is reasonable, probably the cheapest it could go considering the amount of talent on hand.

Hopefully the crowds get a little bigger this upcoming weekend for Round 2.

Knights win as Volts fall short of modest total

The Northern Knights have continued their strong start to the Georgie Pie Super Smash after the Otago Volts came just short of their 146-run target at Seddon Park this afternoon.

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Being sent in to bat first, the Knights made the best start possible to a Twenty20 match, coasting along through the first 10 overs with Dean Brownlie and Anton Devcich forming a strong partnership of 50 runs plus.

Brownlie showed just why the Knights were delighted for his signing, scoring 40 off 27.

Anton Devcich was strong with the bat today as well, ending with a solid 23 from 17.

However, it was a tale of two halves for the Knights in their innings.

After the wickets of Brownlie and Devcich, the Knights batsmen really fell away, scoring at almost just a run a ball for nearly a 6-over period.

Brownlie’s run out was one of the most silly pieces of cricket in the Georgie Pie Super Smash so far.

Had it not been from a defiant knock of 45 at the end by Daryl Mitchell, the Knights would have struggled to make 100 runs.

Nathan McCullum chipped in with a maiden over, and the hot scoring from the Knights really began to drop away from then.

In reply, Otago looked like a certainty for the win early on.

Jesse Ryder and Michael Bracewell put on over 50 runs together. Ryder was at his destructive best, scoring at will, and Bracewell began his innings with a six down the ground to get off the mark.

Once Jono Boult had broken the partnership, fortunes began to turn for the Knights, but Ryan ten Doeschate was at his brilliant best and it looked like the Dutch batsmen would steer the Volts home.

The wicket of ten Doeschate was where the Knights won this game.

Just prior to his dismissal he had blasted two sixes out of the park and considerably brought down the runs required versus balls remaining count.

In the end the Volts fell 10-runs short of their target, and the Knights win again.

But perhaps interestingly, todays result was the fourth game of the weekend that the side chasing didn’t reach what many believed to be reasonable targets.

Knights hold out Firebirds to begin Georgie Pie campaign

The Northern Knights have opened the Georgie Pie Super Smash with a win against the Wellington Firebirds that was comfortable in the end.

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Getting first use with the bat, it was a mundane performance at best for the Knights.

Aussie import Travis Birt and young allrounder Scott Kuggeleijn the top scorers. Birt fell just shy of a half century.

Apart from a decent opening cameo by captain Daniel Flynn, none of the Knights batters would be very satisfied with their opening hit out in the Georgie Pie Super Smash.

The Firebirds bowled very well on what looked like perfect weather conditions for batting.

Though at times it was difficult to tell if it was good bowling by the Firebirds, or just batting that wasn’t up to scratch by the Knights.

Ben Laughlin made an immediate impact with the ball on his return to the Knights, snapping two wickets, including getting the wicket of Michael Papps from his very first delivery.

But the big talking point from the bowling performance will be that of Anton Devcich, the spin bowler taking a 4 wicket haul late in the game, stopping the Firebirds from coming close to their target of 158.

Opinion from this result will vary.

But again today at Seddon Park, it was the side batting second which fell short of its target after looking like a certainty early in the run chase.

Knights all set to begin Twenty20 title defense

The Knights set about defending their national Twenty20 title this Saturday against the Wellington Firebirds in the opening round of the Georgie Pie Super Smash.

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The big news coming out of the Northern Knights camp this week was the re-signing of Australian pace bowler Ben Laughlin, returning to the Knights after a stint last season that included 10 wickets from four matches.

Laughlin joins fellow Aussie cricketer Travis Birt as the second foreign player on the Knights roster.

Daniel Flynn will again captain the Knights.

New Zealand’s domestic Twenty20 competition has been greatly revamped for this season.

The Georgie Pie Super Smash will see double header matches on both Saturday and Sunday over the course of a month. Hamilton’s Seddon Park hosts the first two weekends, before the tournament shifts to most major cities around the country including Auckland, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington.

Other international signings for the various teams include Brad Hodge for the Firebirds, Dirk Nannes for the Volts, and Aiden Blizzard for the Canterbury Kings.

The 2014 Georgie Pie Super Smash begins tomorrow night with the North vs South Island of Origin game.

Every Knights match in the Georgie Pie Super Smash will be covered right here on michaelpulman.wordpress.com and live blogged over on MICHAEL PULMAN LIVE.