strikers vs renegades
Strikers vs Renegades

Venue Adelaide Oval
Time 6.45 PM
Weather Partly cloudy. Winds south to southeasterly 25-25 km/h 11-22 C

  • Aaron Finch (Renegades) is in doubt with a knee injury
  • Rashid Khan is set to dominate the weak Renegade batters
  • They played against each other just two days ago in Melbourne

A curious piece of scheduling means a replay of Tuesday’s game, but this time Adelaide will host. Adelaide look like they have the advantage with Rashid Khan’s leg spinners being a formidable challenge, and he does enjoy bowling at Adelaide. Both sides are of course depleted by international absences but the bad news for the Renegades is that Aaron Finch might miss out with a knee injury which means they’ll lack his leadership.

The Renegades batting looks pretty thin. But they performed well on Tuesday night without their Australian representatives and the Strikers can count on Jake Weatherald and George Garton to post runs, particularly if the Renegades bowlers lose their nerves. It looks like this will be a duel between the Afghan spinners with Zahir Khan’s left arm orthodox style being a good counter to Rashid Khan.

Adelaide Oval has short side boundaries which suit the batters who can pull and cut. The ground is open at one end which means the strong winds that are predicted might aid a swing bowler. Conversely, it also means it’s not a great idea to hit into it but there are plenty of other opportunities to score and this includes going over the ropes. The drop-in pitch means bounce is on offer and it has become a swing bowler’s paradise if they strike the right length during night cricket.

Adelaide should win by 2 wickets or by 20 runs.

Adelaide Strikers

Every team can get out the small violin and moan about their Australian representatives being absent but this will present an opportunity for Harry Nielsen to shine with the keeper’s gloves in Alex Carey’s absence. Peter Siddle and Wes Agar should be able to contain the Renegades if they don’t drift onto the leg stump. Coach Jason Gillespie will also ensure that the batters always take the sensible option on offer and they’re unlikely to just throw away their wickets in bunches but instead build steady partnerships.

Batting

Jake Weatherald will enjoy the chance to face the Renegade’s moderate bowling attack and his healthy average of 28 and a good strike rate of 131 is proof of this. The left hander loves getting stuck into bad bowling and he’ll enjoy the support of his home crowd as well. It should be remembered that he can also score extra runs with his fast running between wickets and he’s also known for keeping a level head in tight situations.

Harry Nielsen has an opportunity to show his worth and he’ll be very keen to do so. “Jump in the Fire” was a song sung by Harry Nilsson many years ago and he might hammer home the message of the song to the Renegade’s bowlers. He knows the Adelaide Oval very well but so far his top score after 12 BBL games is 44 not out which is sure to improve this season and he won’t get a better opportunity than against the Renegades. A run-a-ball 30 on Tuesday sets him up nicely for this game.

Jonathan Wells is one of those cricketers who has snuck under the radar, slowly growing into a consistent batter who doesn’t play too many silly shots. He can bat with the tail with ease and go up a gear during the death overs as well. His small body belies the hustle that he brings to the crease. You don’t get to average 33 after 106 games without having both talent and the intelligence to use it correctly..

Bowling

Rashid Khan has an imposing pair of numbers that intimidate opponents who know their statistics: his bowling average is 17 and this is paired with an economy rate of 6.05. The question is whether he can be attacked, or do you play him safely for ones and twos? A team that lacks confidence such as the Renegades will go for the latter option and this will only help him. He has the good habit of bowling well right from the start and his spell will be the most important of the game.

Wes Agar’s spell will be one of containment that builds up wicket taking pressure. The short-of-a-length ball that forces the back foot defensive shot is his stock delivery and he can also deliver a brutal bouncer when required. Expect the radar gun to clock his speed at over 140 km/h on a consistent basis. It will be awkward for the Renegades to face him in tandem with Rashid Khan at the other end. His opening spell for the season was respectable, conceding 21 runs off 3 overs but with now wickets to show for it.

Peter Siddle is 37 but he’s still super fit and four-over spells are well within his capability. A respectable economy rate of 7.32 is what he brings to the Strikers and conditions should suit him on the night. A strong wind is predicted and Adelaide at night means the ball will swing. The white ball is not known to swing much but it only takes about 5cm of variation from the straight line for it to spell trouble for the Renegades. On Tuesday night against the same opposition he took 3 for 42, which was expensive, but he did help to trigger the Renegades batting collapse.

Melbourne Renegades

Much will depend on the international players Mohammed Nabi, Reece Topley and Zahir Khan, but the team lacks depth and experience after that. David Saker is now the coach of the team and he has earned the respect of the cricketing world by quickly improving underperforming teams around the world. Opportunities abound for James Seymour and Jonathan Merlo in the absence of the Australian representatives. If Aaron Finch is fit to play it will be up to him to provide solid leadership and performance.

Batting

Sam Harper is a wicketkeeper who could keep his spot in the team with his batting alone and on Tuesday he showed his class with 33 off 28 balls. .His strike rate of 134 per 100 balls in the BBL makes him super dangerous once his confidence is up after hitting a few early boundaries. The Strikers’ outfielders can expect to be busy when he is at the crease… but will he have adequate support from the other end to allow him to do his thing? That’s a question that has been answered in the negative too often in the past by the Renegades.

Unmukt Chand is the first Indian player in the BBL and this is his debut season with the Renegades. Maybe he isn’t cut out for top international cricket, but the Strikers should be well within his capabilities and he has shown his worth in the Indian Premier League. He loves to go hard early and the short side boundaries at the Adelaide Oval will suit his horizontal batting style. He could surprise on the night because he hasn’t played in Australia before.

Mackenzie Harvey also did well on Tuesday with 56 off 46 balls and he is a young batter who can use this match as a chance to deliver on his promise. Last year he captained the Australian Under 19 team at the World Cup so he is well regarded by the good judges of cricketing talent. Perhaps he is unfancied by the fans but this doesn’t mean that his running speed and upper body strength counts for nothing, especially if the Strikers’ show signs of wilting under pressure. He hits big every time he comes to the crease.

Bowling

Mohammed Nabi is the standout bowler and his off-breaks will be aided if he can be bowled from the correct end of the wicket. It’s remarkable how many spin bowlers can get their economy rate below 7 an over and Nabi is one of these with an economy rate of 6.96. He’s now played over 300 T20 games around the world and he thrives under lights in front of a big crowd.

Zak Evans is just starting his career and the fact that he only has to bowl four overs should ensure that the Strikers batters face some spicy deliveries on the fairly bouncy wicket. A very healthy average of 16 is compromised by an economy rate of 9.59. If he can cut the bad ball out of his game and learn to bowl 6 good balls every over then he should be hitting the top half of the bat regularly.

Kane Richardson has the experience and the consistency to trouble most of the batting line ups and the Strikers would do well to handle him with care. He put in what I would consider a par performance on Tuesday with 1 for 24 off 24 overs against the Strikers. Often underestimated by the opposition, his skill with the yorker is his best weapon and he often comes out on top in the death overs by angling the ball into the pads or bowling slow bouncers. Like all Renegades bowlers he is often let down by sub-standard fielders.

Strikers vs Renegades: Market Odds

Adelaide Strikers are $1.72 and Melbourne Renegades $2.16 with TopSport.

Strikers vs Renegades: Best Bet

Jake Weatherald to hit the most sixes for the match at $5 with TopSport.

Strikers vs Renegades: Best Same Game Multi

Jake Weatherald to hit the most sixes for the match x Mohammed Nabi to take the most wickets for the Renegades x Rashid Khan to take the most wickets for the Strikers

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