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January 1, 2024 11:15 AM

Published by Cricket Wellington

Tom Blundell and Ben Sears return to the Firebirds squad after playing in the BLACKCAPS white ball series against Bangladesh.

They will bolster the top-of-the-table Firebirds as the team travels to Tauranga to take on the Northern Brave under the lights at Bay Oval on January 2nd.

With strong performances from all over the lineup over the first three rounds of the Dream 11 Super Smash, Head Coach Shane Jurgensen is given the difficult task of making room for his BLACKCAPS returnees.

Nick Greenwood and Ollie Newton come out for Blundell and Sears, respectively, with early-season performances that will keep them in strong consideration as the season goes on, especially when another BLACKCAPS squad is chosen in mid-January.

Michael Bracewell is traveling with the squad to Tauranga, as he continues his return-to-play program which is seeing him progress well in his rehabilitation.

Adam Milne is unavailable for selection due to recently finishing his current BLACKCAPS assignment, while Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra are in scheduled rest periods.

The Spotlight Reporting Wellington Blaze will send the same squad that has seen them also get through three rounds undefeated, with two wins and a washout.

Captain Amelia Kerr is fresh off a career-high Super Smash score of 88 last time out and will be looking to see her side to another key win, this time over a Northern Brave side which will feature the debut of Chamari Athapaththu, who was one of the WBBL’s top performers.

Sophie Devine is the only unavailable Blaze player for this fixture, as she is on a wellness break following a heavy schedule of cricket.

This blockbuster double-header will take place on January 2nd at Bay Oval in Tauranga, with the Wellington Blaze facing Northern Brave Women in the opener from 2pm, before the Firebirds and Northern Brave Men face off in a day-night game from 5:30pm. The game will stream live on TVNZ+ and TVNZ Duke.

Spotlight Reporting Wellington Blaze | Dream11 Super Smash Round 4 | Bay Oval, Tauranga

Amelia Kerr (C)

Leigh Kasperek (VC)

Nicole Baird

Rebecca Burns

Kate Chandler

Natasha Codyre

Jess Kerr

Caitlin King

Jess McFadyen

Georgia Plimmer

Gemma Sims

Xara Jetly

Wellington Firebirds | Dream11 Super Smash Round 4 | Bay Oval, Tauranga

Nick Kelly (C)

Muhammad Abbas

Tom Blundell

Troy Johnson

Callum McLachlan

Tim Robinson

Ben Sears

Nathan Smith

Michael Snedden

Jesse Tashkoff

Logan van Beek

Pete Younghusband

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