Cricket: Canterbury Kings outclass Otago Volts to book home Super Smash final

Canterbury Kings have gone top of the Twenty20 Super Smash to book themselves a home final, defeating Otago Volts by eight wickets in Dunedin.

Winning the toss and sending the Volts in to bat first, the Kings restricted Otago to 166/8 from their 20 overs, thanks to an inspired spell of 3/24 with the ball from former Blackcap Todd Astle.

In response, a 95-run opening stand between Chad Bowes and Ken McClure gave Canterbury more than half of their target, before an unbeaten stand of 28 runs in 16 balls to Leo Carter and Cole McConchie got the Kings home with more than three overs to spare.

McClure hit three sixes and six boundaries in his 42-ball 68, while Bowes struck nine fours and cleared the ropes once in his 52 off 32.

Otago's innings was built on an unbeaten 75 from 48 balls to Jake Gibson, who continues to impress as an opening batter after his 63-ball 96 in a four-wicket win over the same opposition on Saturday.

Gibson did receive valuable support from Dean Foxcroft, who scored 46 runs in 29 balls as the pair added 72 runs together for the second wicket, before Otago's innings stumbled.

Once Astle broke the partnership - having Foxcroft out stumped by Max Chu - Otago lost regular wickets to limp to a total of 166, which Canterbury were untroubled in chasing down.

Canterbury's win sees them overtake Otago at the top of the men's Super Smash table, courtesy of net run rate, despite the Kings having lost two more games than the Volts this season.

The Volts will face third-placed Northern Brave in their elimination final on Thursday, with the winner to meet Canterbury in the men's final, in Christchurch next Saturday.

Canterbury Kings 167/2 (McClure 68, Bowes 52; Bacon 1/29) Otago Volts 166/8 (Gibson 75 not out, Foxcroft 46; Astle 3/24)

Meanwhile, in the first game of the day's double-header, Otago Sparks defeated Canterbury Magicians by four wickets in the final over, to take home advantage for the women's Super Smash elimination final on Thursday.

With both sides already through to the elimination final - where they'll face off for the right to face Wellington Blaze in the Super Smash final - home advantage was up for grabs for the winner of Monday's encounter.

Despite half-centuries to former White Fern Amy Satterthwaite (85) and Kate Anderson (59), Canterbury's 166/4 wasn't enough to restrict the Sparks.

Polly Inglis and Kirstie Gordon celebrate.
Polly Inglis and Kirstie Gordon celebrate. Photo credit: Photosport

Satterthwaite at the very least gave another reminder of her class in Canterbury's top order, with her 346 runs at an average of just under 58 being second only to Anderson (441 at 63) this season.

The 36-year-old retired from international cricket in 2022 after missing out on a White Ferns central contract.

In response, Otago's successful chase was built on the back of an unbeaten 47 runs from 43 balls by wicketkeeper Polly Inglis, while English import Linsey Smith helped seal the win with a 24-ball 34.

Victory sees Otago leapfrog Canterbury into second-place on the women's Super Smash standings, two points ahead of the Magicians.

Canterbury, though, will have the chance for revenge when the sides meet again later this week.

Otago Sparks (Inglis 47 not out, Smith 34; Sullivan 2/22) Canterbury Magicians 166/4 (Satterthwaite 85, Anderson 59; Black 1/30)