Obstructing the field, unusual stoppages, and devastating Latham
All the major talking points from the week gone by in the Super Smash
Two appeals for obstructing the field, a bizarre stoppage in play, and Tom Latham's blistering hundred headlined this week in the Super Smash. ESPNcricinfo looks back at the major talking points
Mitchell out obstructing the field
In the fifth over of Northern Knights' innings against Canterbury Kings, Daryl Mitchell patted a ball from Kyle Jamieson back to him and took a couple of steps out of his crease. The bowler swooped down on the ball in his follow-through and aimed to throw the stumps down, but Mitchell stuck his right leg in the way. Though the ball wasn't heading towards the stumps, Mitchell was guilty of deliberately coming in the way of the throw.
Jamieson gestured that Mitchell knocked the ball away with his leg and launched an appeal for obstructing the field. The on-field umpires Wayne Knights and Ashley Mehrotra got together and referred it to TV umpire Tony Gillies, who ultimately gave Mitchell out.
You don't see this everyday - Mitchell dismissed for obstructing the field. #BKSupersmash #wearecanterbury #cricketnation #KnightsvKings pic.twitter.com/T6IUrLeXvD— Canterbury Cricket (@CanterburyCrick) January 16, 2019
Four days later, in the final over of Otago's chase of 185, Auckland Aces' Mitchell McClenaghan bowled an inch-perfect yorker from round the wicket and Leicestershire's Ben Raine hastily jabbed his bat down and set off for a single. In the process, he collided with McClenaghan, who recovered and scooped the ball onto the stumps at the striker's end, where Nathan Smith had reached his crease in time.
McClenaghan, though, appealed for obstructing the field but replays indicated that Raine hadn't changed his line while running. The soft signal was not out, and TV umpire Derek Walker sided with it.
Sun stops play in Napier
Sun squinted into the eyes of the batsmen and forced a 25-minute interruption in the match between Central Districts and Canterbury at McLean Park in Napier. Moments before the players and the officials walked off the field, legspinner Todd Astle had drawn a thick outside edge from Dean Foxcroft, but Tom Latham, the keeper, had dropped it. The action resumed once the sun moved away.
The setting sun was at an awkward angle again during the first ODI between India and New Zealand and interrupted the visitors' chase on Wednesday.
ALSO READ: Sun stops play in New Zealand v India ODI
Sun stopped play...love it! #SuperSmash pic.twitter.com/Odjwzgmywp— Sean Brown (@sean_brown235) January 19, 2019
Astle, Neesham watch
Having been asked to prove their fitness in the Super Smash and audition for the last two ODIs against India, Todd Astle (knee) and James Neesham (hamstring) had low-key returns. Astle began promisingly and created the aforementioned chance, but lost his lines and lengths once Will Young and Tom Bruce began teeing off. Astle wound up leaking 44 runs in his four overs, including 14 in his last.
Turning out for Wellington Firebirds against Auckland, Neesham was dismissed for 1 by Colin Munro. He then bowled only two overs, conceding 15 runs.
Match of the week
The clash between Northern Knights and Canterbury Kings at Seddon Park. After being sent in, the Knights posted 154 for 5 in a rain-hit 16-overs-a-side game on the back of opener Nick Kelly's maiden T20 half-century.
Then the Kings lost Tom Latham to Mitchell Santner off the first ball of the chase. The returning Henry Nicholls flickered briefly for 40 off 25 balls before Ish Sodhi reeled him in with a wrong'un. Cam Fletcher and Leo Carter, however, put on a 56-run stand off 40 balls and took the game deep.
When the Kings needed 19 off the last two overs it was anybody's game. But Knights' overseas recruit Kyle Abbott and Daryl Mitchell sewed up a six-run win (via DLS method) with a variety of cutters and yorkers. The result put the Kings out of contention for the knockouts.
Batsman of the week
Latham exploited the short boundaries and the fast McLean Park outfield, cracking his maiden T20 century - and the first in this season's Super Smash - off 57 balls against Central Districts. He was particularly severe on left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, smashing him for 30 runs from nine balls before holing out off him. However, the rapidly rising asking rate was too much to overcome and Canterbury came up short in a chase of 226.
Bowler of the week
McClenaghan is an excellent bowler in the Powerplay, but he hasn't been as effective in the end overs. Against Otago, he nailed one yorker after another and defended 16 in the final over against the well-set Raine and Smith. He is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the competition with 11 scalps in five matches at an economy rate of 7.95. Jamieson, who has played two more games, leads the list with 14 wickets.
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo