The 2018-19 Big Bash League season is in full swing! Three games have been played at the time of writing with one game still to come in Round 1 of the season. However, we are looking ahead today to the fantastic four game slate that is Round 2 in BBL08!
A double header on Saturday, the 22nd of December splits Round 1 & 2, for a preview and tips on the first game of the night, head to our BBL08 Round 1 Betting Tips here, or continue reading as we kick off Round 2 proceedings with the second game of the Saturday double header.
The Brisbane Heat will be disappointed with their start to the BBL08 season after going down to the Adelaide Strikers at home on opening night. The Strikers bowling attack proved to be too strong for the Heat as they restricted the home side to just 146 before comfortably chasing down the total with five balls to spare. Solid performances with the bat were few and far between for the Heat, although a final wicket partnership of 45 between Jimmy Pierson and Mujeeb Ur Rahman gave the Heat something to bowl at.
The Heat will be at home once again on Saturday night as they face the Hobart Hurricanes, who have yet to play their first match in BBL08. Our pre-season tip to win the competition, the Hurricanes will come into the season with one of the more well-rounded teams in the Big Bash League, and should be competitive on a nightly basis. D’Arcy Short will be looking to have another big BBL season while new recruit James Faulkner will surely be valuable with both bat and ball.
The Heat’s star recruit, James Pattinson, was impressive in game one against the Strikers but overall, their pace bowling attack still looks a little thin. Brendan McCullum didn’t have the best season in the BBL last year and looks a step behind the pace heading into BBL08. It’s hard to pick the Heat starting with an 0-2 record after two games at home but we have to side with the Cane Train here.
Two teams who secured great wins in Round 1 of the BBL08 season will square off on Sunday night as the Adelaide Strikers host the Melbourne Renegades from 7.15pm. As we mentioned above, the Strikers cruised home to a comfortable win over the Heat, chasing down their target of 146 with five balls to spare after a brilliant bowling performance by the likes of Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle and Matt Short. The three claimed six wickets between them and all had an economy rate below five.
The Renegades finally broke their hoodoo against the Perth Scorchers, defeating them for the first time in BBL history under the roof at Marvel Stadium. As we predicted in our Round 1 preview, the Perth batting lineup proved to be extremely fragile and were bowled out for a measly total of 103 after some brilliant bowling by the Gades pace attack of Kane Richardson and new recruits Usman Shinwari and Dan Christian.
The Renegades didn’t look super comfortable with the bat, at one point being 4-17 before a fantastic partnership between Sam Harper and Mohammad Nabi steadied the ship. There are definitely some cracks in the Renegades batting line-up, which is not a problem you can afford to have against the Strikers bowling attack. We think Adelaide goes to 2-0 at home on Sunday.
Quick turnaround for the Hurricanes after facing the Heat on Saturday night. Obviously, it’s tough to get a read on the Canes at the time of writing, as they are still yet to play their first game of the season. However, after making the final last year, the hunger to go one step further will be amongst the playing group, and they won’t be hindered by international selection, barring Tim Paine, for the majority of the season.
The Melbourne Stars got their season underway on Friday night in Canberra against the Sydney Thunder. The Thunder compiled 181 batting first on the back of a brilliant innings by young gun Jason Sangha. Adam Zampa was the only standout bowler for the Stars, claiming 2-23 off his four overs. Rain affected the Melbourne Stars run chase, meaning they needed 90 runs from just 8 overs to win the match. They fell 15 runs short of their target and have now started the BBL08 season where they left off last year.
With no markets out for this game as of yet, we are taking an educated guess when we say that the Hurricanes will surely start as favourites. The Stars bowling attack looks really thin, even with the addition of Dwayne Bravo this season. The return to fitness of Marcus Stoinis will be a massive help, but we can’t see that getting the Stars over the line in Hobart on Monday. Pending the odds, we like the Canes to win here.
The massive Sydney Derby concludes Round 2 of the Big Bash on Christmas Eve night, beginning from 7.15pm. The Thunder were succesful in a rain affected match against the Stars on Friady to move to 1-0 on the season. After batting first and making a total of 181, the rain set in just a few balls into the Stars innings, meaning they had a revised total of 89 from 8 overs. The Stars fell 15 runs short as new recruit Daniel Sams picked up three wickets. Earier in the night it was youngster Jason Sangha who led the way with the bat, making 63 from just 36 balls in the Thunder's innings.
The Sixers faced the Scorchers in their first game of the season, claiming a comfortable 17 run victory at home as the Scorchers batting line-up failed once again. Captain Daniel Huges and Jordan Silk were fantastic for the Sixers, both scoring 60+ to set a total of 164. Steve O'Keefe proved that he is still an elite limited overs bowler with three wickets in a successful innings for the Sixers.
Not many would have predicted both the Sixers and the Thunder to be 1-0 heading into the Sydney Derby, but the fact that they are makes it much more interesting. The Thunder start as favourites for the match on the back of their impressive 181 run performance against the Stars. We think they have a tough more batting depth, especially since Sangha proved a capable number six in the T20 format. With Root, Butler and co. firing at the top of the order, we think the Thunder get the job done.
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