Hurricanes vs Scorchers
  • Both teams recorded big victories in their last game
  • Matthew Wade struck 93 off 46 balls in his last game
  • Colin Munro hit the first century of the BBL season on Saturday

Venue Bellerive Oval, Hobart
Time 7.15 PM
Weather Partly cloudy, medium (40%) chance of showers,  southeasterly light winds 15-25 km/h easing off during the evening 13-21 C

This game should be a high quality contest with both teams in good form after winning their last games by over 40 runs. The old story of the big names producing the goods rang true in their last games but will they do it again? The Scorchers have quality medium pace bowlers but Peter Hatzoglou is an underestimated spin bowler who can provide another consistent performance, and their batting was pretty close to perfect on Saturday night.

The Hobart Hurricanes should thoroughly enjoy their return to the Bellerive Oval with the knowledge that their batters scored more than 200 runs in their last innings. Getting past 200 is greatly encouraging to the bowlers because it allows them to experiment or buy wickets from batters who like to hit. However, the emphasis seemed to be on containment in their last game and they did this very well, so the Perth Scorchers batting line up doesn’t really hold the same fear factor for them as it does for other teams.

Hobart is a good venue for BBL cricket and this will allow the hitters to play a big part in the game. It should be worth a 10% advantage to the Hurricanes. The boundaries are fair and the grandstands are low and due to the low temperatures at night it can seem that the game is being played somewhere in the English countryside. The pitch has been notorious for producing in the past but it seems to be a little bit better behaved these days.

Hobart Hurricanes to win by 2 wickets or 20 runs.

Hobart Hurricanes

Their bowling definitely looks the weaker part of the team but Joel Paris is in form and Sandeep Lamichhane bowled tightly on Saturday night. The top order had a night to remember on Saturday, posting 2 for 213, but performances like that are very difficult to replicate night after night. They’ll enjoy their first game of the season at Bellerive Oval and this should bring their swing bowlers and big hitters into the game. One concern is that three of the bowlers in their last game went for more than 35 runs each, which is a red line. They should aim to bring this statistic down, especially as the Scorchers top order batters look to be in great form.

Batting

Matthew Wade carried over his World Cup T20 form into the Big Bash and he should have a good chance to score another fifty in this game. He looked dejected when he was dismissed seven short of a hundred and this is a mark that he aims for every time he opens the innings. His power is generated from a quick bat swing, which my baseball loving friends say is the key to going big. It’s also true that when the captain does well then the rest of the team tends to, and his involvement in the game also carries on with his sound wicket keeping.

D’arcy Short has proven what an astute opening batter he is over many years and the Perth Scorchers bowling attack will be seen by him as a challenge he can meet. He loves to launch the ball in the air over mid wicket and he doesn’t mind going down the wicket to the spinners either. Perhaps if he can remind himself that there are plenty of runs behind the wicket as well then he can lift his batting up even more.

Caleb Jewell was also in the runs on Saturday night, and having the opportunity to bat at No.3 with two very good openers ahead of you must be a huge vote of confidence for him. He has played 23 games of T20 and a good season lies ahead if he remembers to rely on placing the ball between the fielders as much as he does on power hitting. Running between wickets is not as much fun as hitting the ball over the rope, but it does lead to consistency which is something he looks like attaining at long last.

Bowling

Joel Paris took three wickets on Saturday night and his left arm fast-medium bowling style looks suited to a Hobart wicket known for its steep bounce. His late movement away from both the left handed and right handed batters is fantastic and the batters are often left staring down the wicket wondering how the ball went past them. He needs support from good fielders in the slips early in his bowling spell and once he takes a wicket then he has the confidence to have a good game.

Sandeep Lamichhane bowled well without luck in his previous game and he played the team role by containing the batters to 24 runs off his 4 overs. The outfield catchers are in business when he is bowling due to the overspin that he applies to his leg break bowling. Batters who fiddle about with uncertainty will also find themselves in trouble as he also has a habit of finding the edge of the bat which produces plenty of chances for the wicket keeper and the close fielders. By opting to get the batters out by getting them caught he is playing to the percentages which should produce consistent performances.

Scott Boland looks likely to play in this game and with 60 T20 games to his name he looks set to bolster the Hurricanes bowling attack during the death overs. He’s a strongly built man who bowls with a front on action that produces good seam movement. This means batters are either edging the ball back onto their stumps or fending it off with the top half of the bat to the fielders. He’ll need to pitch the ball up on a good length in order to avoid getting punished but his temperament is good and his economy rate is very competitive, standing at 8.28 per over.

Perth Scorchers

One problem of requiring just one wicket for your entire innings in your previous game is that the other batters haven’t been given a chance to boost their confidence by scoring runs in the middle. This can quickly diminish the performance levels of the batters for the next game. The bowlers are doing  their part and the spinners are starting to provide the much needed variation that they need. They should provide a competitive game especially if they can maintain the same level of excellence in the field that they displayed on Saturday.

Batting

Colin Munro once again proved what a quality international player he still is with 114 off 73 balls. But this followed his first game of the season when he scored 3 and this brings to mind the phrase “up and down’’. Batting is probably the most difficult discipline in the world of sports to be consistent at but his recent form surely means he has a good chance to score at least 30 runs once he overcomes his nerves at the start.

Cameron Bancroft is another wicket keeper who is performing double duty by opening the batting as well. His current batting average for the season is now 35 so obviously he is capable of playing his part in this game as well. A team that can manage 0 for 30 after 4 overs will win more games than a team that is 2 for 40 at the same stage and Bancroft is well aware of this. He is now becoming a senior player who provides stability to the team.

Josh Inglis looks like a player who will enjoy batting at Hobart and his imposing strike rate of 150 per 100 balls must be a cause for concern for the Hurricanes. He’s not getting the opportunities because the selectors prefer Bancroft for the wicketkeeper’s position but surely they can find a spot for someone with his power and domineering presence? He loves to play the ball behind the wicket by either opening the face of the bat or playing the shovel shot with good footwork. He must be very annoying to bowl to.

Bowling

Andrew Tye once again performed well with 3 wickets in 3 overs on Saturday. He is very clever at making the batters scoop the ball high into the air by bowling the slower delivery when it’s required. By bowling a stump to stump line he trades predictability for the prospect of getting outside edges on a regular basis and his economy rate of 8.04 per 100 balls is highly impressive. Scorchers fans better see him when they can because he is now 35.

Jason Behrendorff is another bowler who is in good form for the Scorchers and he looks set for a highly productive season. He’s probably the best bowler that they have and his spell of 3 for 22 proved once again what a class he is. Having played 83 T20 games and being 31 years of age, he is now at the peak of his career. He just doesn’t take cheap wickets at the death either because he is also a sound choice as one of the opening bowlers.

Peter Hatzoglou is fast developing into one of the best spinners in the BBL and his ability to take at least one wicket every game means he should be a part of the Scorchers team for many years to come. His bowling action reminds me of Abdul Qadir’s style, in that he shuffles into the crease at a good pace and delivers the ball from the maximum height which his arm allows. Probably his most dangerous ball is the googly which he can make it rip into the right handed batter’s pad.

Hurricanes vs Scorchers: Market Odds

Perth Scorchers $1.74, Hobart Hurricanes $2.14 with TopSport

Hurricanes vs Scorchers: Best Bet

Peter Hatzolgou most wickets for the Perth Scorchers – $4.40 with TopSport

Hurricanes vs Scorchers: Best Multi

Peter Hatzoglou to take the most wickets for the Perth Scorchers
Caleb Jewell to score the most runs for the Hobart Hurricanes
Sandeep Lamichhane to take the most wickets for the Hobart Hurricanes

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