THE action continues as the BBL resumes from its mini-break with plenty of exciting matchups coming up this week.
Here’s a look at the next few days of action:
Perth Scorchers vs Hobart Hurricanes (Monday, 7:15pm)
The Perth Scorchers might have lost the right to play games at home thanks to ongoing border restrictions, but will look to move back to the top of the BBL table when they “host” the Hobart Hurricanes in the Tasmanian capital city.
The Scorchers have been fantastic so far this season, both their batting and bowling stand up when it has been required in what can only be described as a number of team efforts.
It all means they are currently undefeated, having beaten the Brisbane Heat in a tense opener, the Adelaide Strikers in a flogging and the Hobart Hurricanes by 53 runs last time out for both of these sides.
The game against the Hurricanes saw the Scorchers saw 182, before dismissing the men in purple for just 129. It’s hard to get a read on how much not being able to play at home might impact the Scorchers, but they have been in fine form.
Colin Munro and Mitchell Marsh have led the way with the bat, both hitting a century in the opening three games. It’s that stat alone which will worry the Hurricanes, who have conceded scores of 144, 151 and 182 across their opening three games. The bowling attack, to this point, haven’t been good enough.
While the Scorchers could have a weight of runs, it’ll be down to their bowlers to make sure the ‘Canes can’t get going with the bat, their scores varying wildly across the tournament. A 213 against the Sixers in their second game proves what they can do, but AJ Tye (seven wickets) and Matt Kelly (five wickets) both sit near enough to the top of the list for bowlers this tournament, and that should be the difference.
The Scorchers to win again in a close one.
Our best bet: Perth Scorchers win $1.62 at PlayUp
Sydney Sixers vs Adelaide Strikers (Tuesday, 7:15pm)
The Sydney Sixers have only had a single slip up this season, and will look to continue their winning ways against the up and down Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday evening.
The Sixers have been led by their batting so far this season, scoring big runs at almost every turn. In just four games, the men in pink have managed scores of over 140 in all four games, including scores of 213 and 182, while their only loss came about thanks to a Matthew Wade domination in Hobart.
Their batting – led by Josh Philippe (259 runs at 86.33, 156 strike rate) and Moises Henriques (204 runs at 102.00, 155 strike rate) has been exceptional and among the tournament’s best, however, it’s been an all-round performance. That is about to take a hit though, with Steve O’Keefe out injured having taken six wickets at 16 with an economy rate of six.
The Strikers have battled through their three games, winning just one from three, but it feels like O’Keefe being out opens the door for them ever so slightly. Rashid Khan will need ot be at the top of his game, while Daniel Worrall has been fantastic so far, going at just six runs per over across his three matches.
The Strikers bowlers will need to carry the team given they have only scored more than 150 once (and that was only 151), but even then, the Sixers are rightly favourites and should strengthen their position near the top of the table.
Our best bet: Sydney Sixers win $1.54 at PlayUp
Melbourne Renegades vs Perth Scorchers (Wednesday, 7:15pm)
The Melbourne Renegades will search for their second win of the season on Wednesday evening as they take on the Perth Scorchers.
The Renegades have been comprehensively outplayed in their last two starts, but Aaron Finch is a chance to play on Wednesday night, while the Strikers will be playing their second game in three days without having a chance of returning home.
That doesn’t mean the men in orange won’t come into the game as favourites given how strong they have been across the park, the efforts of Mitchell Marsh and Colin Munro with the bat being on display, and an attach led by Andrew Tye and Matthew Kelly.
The Renegades have their own stars with the ball though, and that’s where it will need to start. Zahir Khan and Kane Richardson have taken seven and six wickets respectively from their three games, and if the duo can lead the Melbourne side to a chasable total against a somewhat inconsistent batting line up, then there is no reason they couldn’t cause an upset here.
Still, the Scorchers should pick up the win, just don’t be surprised if it’s closer than you think.
Our best bet: Perth Scorchers win $1.54 at PlayUp