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BBL Preview: 14 December – 15 December

A week is down in BBL|11, and the table is shaping up to be a close-run thing with no teams undefeated, and no teams without a victory through the first two or three games for all eight sides.  

Here is who is winning the next couple of games. 

Hobart Hurricanes vs Perth Scorchers (Tuesday, December 14, 7:15pm) 

The Hobart Hurricanes got their season off to a shocking start, but then hit back as their top order did the damage in a rematch against the Sydney Sixers, who were playing their third game in five days to kick the season off. 

The win hands them a one and one record to get going, but it’s become obvious it’ll be all down to their batting if they want to hand the Perth Scorchers – who are back to being the competition’s travelling nomads – their first loss of the new season. 

That doesn’t bode well against one of the competition’s strongest bowling attacks well. If you were building a team of the week from the opening seven days of competition, then both Andrew Tye and Matthew Kelly would both likely be in it, having taken five wickets a piece from their two games. 

Matthew Wade went ballistic last start for the Hurricanes, hitting 93 at a strike rather of better than 200, but he will need plenty of support against the Scorchers all-star attack, and that simply hasn’t come yet this tournament, with D’Arcy Short out of form and the remainder of the Hurricanes line up not providing a great deal. 

The Hurricanes will also need to bowl better than they have. While solid, the likes of Tom Rogers, Tim David, Joel Paris and Australian rookie Nathan Ellis have all been expensive and not all that consistent. Sandeep Lamichhane holds the key for the side with the ball, having only gone at six runs per over last time out. 

He will need to be at his best though given the form of Colin Munro who belted 114 not out for the Scorchers in their last start win over the Strikers. 

This looks like a game the Scorchers should win, and fairly comfortably. 

 Our best bet: Perth Scorchers $1.70 at PlayUp

Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Sixers (Wednesday, December 15, 7:15pm) 

The match which kicked off BBL|11 will be on again on Wednesday evening, with the Melbourne Stars looking to extract some revenge on the Sixers for a 152-run thumping when the teams met at the Sydney Cricket Ground last Sunday. 

This time it’s being held in Melbourne, but the key difference is the addition of West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell, and Afghani spinner Qais Ahmed. Russell has played 389 T20 matches and is one of the biggest hitters in the world, scoring 6489 runs at 169.78 while also taking 343 wickets at 25.92, while Ahmed has taken 98 wickets at 21.97 in his 89 T20 matches. 

They will prove to be an enormous difference against the Sixers, who fell of the wagon after a winning start with a shock loss to the Hurricanes last time out. Given Russell and Ahmed will only improve the longer they are in the Stars system though, this will be anything but straight forward for the Sixers. 

Still, form can count for plenty in the shortest form of the game, and it’s that reason the Sixers will enter as favourites. Moises Henriques (175 runs) and Josh Philippe (160 runs) are the top two run-scorers in the tournament so far, while Steve O’Keefe and Tom Curran both sit equal third for wickets with five a piece, while O’Keefe has gone at just six runs per over. 

It’s that economy rate from O’Keefe which will be so important in this clash, and combined with Curran’s wicket-taking, their run-scoring and a mountain of experience (we haven’t even mentioned Dan Christian), the Sixers look the more well-rounded team here and should get a second win over the Stars for the season. 

Our best bet: Sydney Sixers $1.94 at PlayUp


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