Hurricanes and Heat look for redemption after initial losses
Hobart, Blundstone Arena
Brisbane Heat will take heart in their opening performance and should not be too flustered with the result not coming in their favour. Ben Cutting lived up to his reputation as a long ball hitter and James Hopes combined class well with aggression to insure that the Brisbane Heat finished well in the first essay.
Key player of Heat, Chris Lynn is perhaps the most dangerous batsman in the Big Bash right now and he did his reputation no harm in the first game of the season. Burns coming off a good Test series forms a healthy batting quartet for the Heat.
Their bowling let them down in the first game with no real strike bowler in their setup. West Indian Spinner Badree was brilliant in his spell but none of the other bowlers barring Lalor inspire much confidence. Indeed, the Brisbane Heat will back their batsmen to come up with the goods in this away encounter.
Hurricanes, on the other hand, suffered a massive defeat of 95 runs in their opening encounter with only Bailey managing to give a good account of himself. Sydney Sixers registered 3rd biggest victory margin by runs in history of big bash. The defeat was probably nothing more than an aberration as Hobart possess one of the best batting line-ups by any team in the BBL. Boasting of a top 3 consisting of Ben Dunk, Paine and Sangakkara, the Hurricanes have a trio that are masters of controlled aggressive batting. If the top three manage to stick around for 8 or so overs, they have a highly dangerous backend consisting of Darren Sammy, George Bailey and Dan Christian.
Hurricanes, however seem to lack a bit of depth in their bowling even after having two quality all-rounders in Darren Sammy and Dan Christian. The erratic Tait is expected to lead the attack and can be wayward more often than not. However, in Cameron Boyce, they have one of the best Australian spinners on offer.
Probable Playing XI:
S Badree, J Burns, B Cutting, A Doolan, A Fekete, JS Floros, J Hopes, J Lalor, CA Lynn*, JJ Peirson† and N Reardon
G Bailey, CJ Boyce, B Dunk, T Paine*†, S Rainbird, J Reed, CA Rose, D Sammy, K Sangakkara, S Tait and D Christian
In the 16 games played here in history of Big Bash, there were 3 instances of the side batting first scoring 200+ runs. You may like to see, Top 5 Highest Totals in Big Bash Last season, 208 was gunned down with an over to spare indicated the surface to be a batsman’s paradise. 170 will probably be considered par score and anything over 180 will take some getting.
Undoubtedly it’s going to be a high scoring encounter. With both the sides lacking a bit on the bowling front and having a heavy batting line-up coupled with a high scoring strip, I would initially place my bet on the side batting first and expect to make a riskless profit at the innings break. Bet-fair has placed the Hurricanes as firm favourites with 1.70 and the Heats have favourable odds of 2.1, but I am going to go with the favourites Hobart.