The Northern Brave claimed their second consecutive men’s Super Smash title with a dominant seven wicket win over the Canterbury Kings at Hagley Oval on Saturday.

In a rematch of last seasons final, it was the Northern Brave bowling attack that set the platform for the win restricting the Kings to 154/6 after being sent into the field.

In a spin heavy Northern Brave attack, it was returning BLACKCAP Mitch Santner that led the way with 3/16, and he backed that up with an unbeaten 22 with the bat in the successful run chase.

Openers Tim Seifert and Katene Clarke were at their destructive best at the top of the order seeing off the Canterbury seam attack as the Northern Brave reached 59/1 off 6 overs. The target of 155 was eventually hit in the 18th over.

Northern Brave captain Jeet Raval praised the efforts of the top order batters who also took apart the Otago Volts in the elimination final a few days earlier.

“The opening pair for us are high-skilled big game players. They’re a pleasure to watch when they get going and can take any attack apart. Both guys relish the pressure moments and execute in such a destructive style,” said Raval.

Raval also reserved praise for Santner, who was rewarded with the GameChanger award in the grand final for the second year running.

“He’s [Santner] a world class operator who has done it in all over the world in World Cups and the IPL,” said Raval, “his composure at the end together with Joe Carter to get us home was clinical.”

The depth of Northern Brave squad was best illustrated by the inclusion of Santner for the last two matches, who came into the side at the expense of Freddy Walker, who had put in a player-of-match performance in the must-win last home match against the Central Stags.

On paper the Kings looked favourites having beaten the Northern Brave on both occasions in the Super Smash this season and hosting the final, a rematch of the previous season. In fact, the visitors had spent an extended period in the South Island after finishing third on the table, and conceding home advantage for the finals.

“We had to do it a different way this year,” said Raval, “it was a scrappier tournament than last year which gave us the three knockout games to finish.”

“I’d like to make a special thanks to G, Sri, Pete, Heady, Cory and all the support staff that have worked behind the scenes at ND for all their efforts throughout the season so far,” added Raval.

“Everyone has brought an incredibly calm and relaxed approach to the group which has allowed us our best preparation before every game.”

Northern Districts will look to make it a white-ball double as they travel back to Dunedin for round 10 of the Ford Trophy, within touching distance of the Elimination Final.